Easy redemptions key to success in loyalty points programs: Aimia CEO

MONTREAL – The company that runs the Aeroplan loyalty-points program says it’s working to make redemptions easier for consumers.

The chief executive of Montreal-based Aimia Inc. told analysts Friday that the company has already introduced some changes and will be upgrading the technology platform used for redemptions.

“Our data tells us that a successful redemption motivates people to find even more ways to earn and earn faster,” Aimia CEO Rupert Duchesne said on a conference call.

Among Aimia’s partners are Air Canada (TSX:AC) — its chief airline partner — and Visa credit card issuers TD Bank (TSX:TD) and CIBC (TSX:CM).

Duchesne said that he sees 2015 as the year when things “settle” after a number of initiatives, including a shift of about half of CIBC’s Aeroplan Visa customers to TD Bank last year under new 10-year agreements with Aimia.

Aimia Inc. (TSX:AIM) reported a $21.5-million profit or 10 cents per common share for the first quarter, which compared with a $17.3-million loss or 13 cents per share in early 2014.

Revenue from Aimia’s various customer-loyalty programs, which include Aeroplan in Canada and Nectar in the United Kingdom and Italy, was up was up 8.4 per cent to $660.1 million.

Revenue growth was boosted by changes in the value of the dollar and would have been up only 7.3 per cent on a constant-currency basis, the company said.

A year earlier, Aimia had a $17.3-million loss or 13 cents per share on $608.9 million of revenue.

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