EZCORP, Inc. (NASDAQ:EZPW) Q1 2016 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript

Feb 09, 2016 • 08:30 am ET

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EZCORP, Inc. (NASDAQ:EZPW) Q1 2016 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good day, ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the EZCORP Fiscal 2016 First Quarter Earnings Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session and instructions will follow at that time.

[Operator instructions]

As a reminder, this conference call is being recorded. I would now like to introduce your host for today's conference, Mr. Jeff Christensen, Vice President of Investor Relations of EZCORP. Please go ahead, Jeff.

Executive
Jeff Christensen

Thank you, Kaylee, and good morning, everyone. Welcome to EZCORP's First Quarter Fiscal 2016 Results Conference Call. Joining me today are Stuart Grimshaw, Chief Executive Officer of EZCORP; and Mark Ashby, Chief Financial Officer of EZCORP. During our prepared remarks, we will be referring to slides which are now available for download from our website at investors.ezcorp.com.

Before we begin, I'd like to remind everyone that this conference call contains certain forward - looking statements regarding the company's expected operating and financial performance for future periods. These statements are based on the company's expectations.

Actual results for future periods may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward -looking statements due to a number of uncertainties and other factors, including fluctuations in gold prices and the desire of our customers to pawn or sell their gold items, changes to the regulatory environment, changing marketing conditions in the overall economy and in the industry, and consumer demand for the company's services and merchandise.

For a discussion of these and other factors affecting the company's business and prospects, please see our annual, quarterly, and other reports filed with the SEC. Now, I would like to turn the call over to Mr. Grimshaw. Stuart?

Executive
Stuart I. Grimshaw

Thanks, Jeff, and good morning, everyone. I hope it's not too early for you all. I'd like to start -- probably turn to Page 3 and just bring you up -to -date as to where we are with the strategy we announced in July 2015. Now, as you recall, there were three areas that we said we'd execute on, being on focusing the organization, simplifying the organization, and optimizing the organization.

If I turn firstly to the focus, particularly in the pawn business, we have spent a lot of time looking at the service and [Indecipherable] customer satisfaction recorded in the stores. And in particular, we have initiated both video and phone mystery shopping, which has been quite a proven training tool for us and we've seen around a 7% to 10% improvement in satisfaction scores over that period of time, and we continue to see benefits from using these measures of satisfaction, particularly for our staff as they learn how to interact with our customers better.

We've also invested in talent to support the growth initiatives that we do have, particularly in pawn, in our centralized functions, particularly in accounting and risk and also in Grupo Finmart where we appointed a new CEO, a new CRO and CFO through that period of time.

And overall, when we look at the businesses,