YTB International, Wood River, Ill, officially reported that total revenue for the year ending December 31, 2008 increased 15 percent to $162.5 million, compared to $141.3 million for fiscal 2007. Net loss for the year ended December 31, 2008 was $4.5 million, compared to a net income of $3.2 million for the same period of 2007, YTB said in a statement.
YTB said the loss was “primarily the result of the company's good faith efforts and ongoing demonstration of sound corporate principles to absorb any necessary costs associated with improving corporate polices and publications. General and administrative expenses increased by $18.3 million, or 53 percent, compared to 2007, primarily attributable to the growth in the costs associated with the ongoing implementation of new business strategies and operational initiatives.”
Scott Tomer, YTB’s CEO commented on the 2008 results, stating, "2008 was a challenging year for our entire industry, and the impact of the global financial crisis is reflected in the valuations of the majority of publicly traded travel companies. The fallout from the current recession has forced many of us to take a delicate two-tiered approach to our businesses, looking to increase capital reserves, while strategically shifting our spending in order to maintain market share.
“At YTB, we have made a number of changes in the way we do business to address issues raised by legal inquiries and remove any confusion about our product offerings," Tomer continued. "Some of those changes involved reserving for the elimination of non-current inventory, which resulted in losses of $3.0 million. We believe those are one-time losses that were necessary in order for the company to continue to grow and improve business practices to build a stronger foundation for the future. said.
“We have also worked diligently to shore up our capital reserves, evidenced by major cutbacks in the second half of the year, while also working to increase our travel sales," Tomer said. "Specifically, we have taken several cost-cutting measures in the fourth quarter, including cutting our staff by 14 percent, and we are transitioning to a print-on-demand model to prevent any recurrence of non-current inventory write-downs."
For the year ended December 31, 2008, the company generated $27.9 million in revenue from travel commissions and services, compared to $20.7 million in last year's comparable period, an increase of 35 percent. Net cash provided by operating activities in fiscal 2008 was $7.4 million compared to cash provided by operating activities of $12.0 million for fiscal 2007.
"It is times such as these that cause people to re-evaluate their financial condition, and lead many to try to take control of their own destiny," Tomer said. "We strongly believe that we provide quality tools and services that can help many of those seeking to improve their financial situation. I also remain confident that the economy will right itself in due course. Until such time, we will remain focused on delivering the best possible product, services, and support to our RTAs (Referring Travel Agents) around the world. Our management and board remain committed to increasing shareholder value in the coming fiscal year, and we are confident that we will accomplish this task."