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Ambassadors Group, Inc. Q1 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

Our expenses for the quarter were down slightly, although our sales and marketing expenses have increased compared to the same quarter last year, primarily driven by additional spending to acquire 2010 travelers, as well as the beginning of our marketing spend for 2011 travelers.

With our core People to People Ambassador Program’s operations, we have focused to a greater extent on our largest and most important product, the Student Ambassador Program, and are seeing some progress there. One of the key aspects of the first quarter is our traveler retention efforts, and you'll see there has been improvement in our Student Ambassador Retention results so far.

In addition, although our enrolled revenue is down over 20% this quarter compared to the same quarter one year ago, our enrolled revenues for Student Ambassador Programs is down approximately 12%. Our operating unit that provides book summaries, notes, and teaching materials to students and teachers through the same website experienced a slight decline in financial performance. This decrease is expected due to renegotiated agreement with an ad partner in 2009, while during the same period receipts for the sale of content on the site were up 9% over Q1 of last year.

Our monthly unique users were up 3% over the same period last year. This modest growth was expected and in spite of turning of unprofitable marketing and Google AdWords, which drove traffic but not revenue. Our revenue per 1000 unique users, which is the measurement that shows our efficiency in generating revenue from website traffic was down 16% from the comparable period last year. This decrease was also expected, and was the result of the prior mentioned ad partner contract renegotiation.

Discovery Student Adventures will also start operating its 2010 travel programs this quarter. After a slow start the team enrolled nearly 200 students, and will be having approximately 130 students after withdrawal. The number one withdrawal reason was financial hardship or the economy. Brand awareness, as expected is a key strength of our Discovery programs.

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