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04/21/2009

International Monetary Systems Outlines 2008 Highlights

2008 was a year filled with achievements and challenges for International Monetary Systems. After record-setting growth in 2007 triggered by IMS� acquisitions of two of America�s largest trade exchanges, the company spent much of 2008 integrating those operations and continuing to build infrastructure.

IMS highlights of 2008:

         They completed its investment in new computers, monitors, printers, servers, and other equipment, which has enhanced the efficiency of our broker and sales staffs.

         Substantial progress was made in upgrading their web site, with new written content and graphics, new testimonials, an educational video, a client/broker blog, and audio clips which tell their story to prospective members. New traffic to their web site has increased 76% from 2007. The member portal has been expanded with a new online barter marketplace, travel-on-trade booking area, and account maintenance tools. As a result, more and more members use the exchange�s web site to sell, buy, or simply input a transaction or check their account. IMS is transforming member behavior to positively impact our efficiency.

         Last year they acquired the source code for TradeWorks� proprietary clearing system, then migrated the entire program from its original RPG format into a more current dot-net technology. This process is ongoing as they near the official rollout of the most updated version of the new Trade Network Tracking System (TNT). The cost of this project is approaching $500,000.

         The IT department now has five full-time employees, including a talented graphics designer, who are servicing the network, converting the software and enhancing the IMS web site.

         The firm has worked diligently to increase the productivity and cost-effectiveness of its outside sales force. Some of their losses in the first two quarters of 2008 were a direct result of non-productive efforts. The leaner, more efficient group has enrolled more than 3,000 new members during 2008. Yet as impressive as that number seems, it barely matched the attrition of existing members who had stopped functioning in the barter system, or had ceased business operations.

         Their annual (holiday) Barter Expo series in November and December surpassed the attendance and trading volume experienced in 2007. Overall volume at these events increased by 16%, with aggregate sales of over $3 million.

         During 2008 IMS acquired two small exchanges in Boston (MA) and Long Island (NY), and completed the acquisition of New York Commerce Group.

         The media coverage of IMS in 2008 was fortuitous, ending the year with exposure from national and local television, and many different print outlets, large and small. During the year CEO Don Mardak, was interviewed by Neil Cavuto on the Fox Business Network, and by the producer of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. Many of the TV shows broadcast last year also featured IMS clients who gave glowing reports of barter�s positive impact on their cash flow. The IMS web site home-page features much of this coverage.

         IMS last year repurchased more than one million of its shares under contractual obligations with former owners of companies acquired in previous years. This increased their treasury stock to more than two million shares.

The company believes that all of these achievements portend a great future for International Monetary Systems. Confidence, however, is tempered with caution. While 2008 brought great achievements, they sustained some set-backs as a result of the nation�s economic downturn. While cash receipts increased very slightly from 2007, that gain was offset by a sizable trade-dollar loss from within the corporate barter department.

IMS does not rely on any one department to drive its success. Their system is one that spreads the risk and reward among a large network: when one area is down, another area is up. The same is true for the various markets they serve.

For more information visit http://www.internationalmonetary.com.



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