Moneysupermarket posts strong year and gets 2013 of to good start

Moneysupermarket.com Group posted a decent set of results for 2012, but failed to fully impress broker Investec, prompting shares to take a slight hit.

Moneysupermarket.com Group posted a decent set of results for 2012, but failed to fully impress broker Investec, prompting shares to take a slight hit.

Revenue rose 13% over the year, from £181m to £204.8m, while adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased to £66.5m from £52.5m in 2011.

Statutory pre-tax profit came in at £24.8m, up 48% from £16.8m the prior year.

The final dividend for the year was set at 3.94p (2011: 3.03p) putting the dividned for the year at 5.74p, compared to 4.53p the previous year.

The group told investors that it has had a "solid" start to the year, with revenue up 11% and EBITDA up 30% compared to the first two months of 2012.

However, Investec put its target price of 170p under review, while reiterating its hold recommendation, saying the full year figures are in line with expectations or slightly above, but the Money division is still "weak".

The division's full year sales were up 9.0%, with a slow/flat second half, which implies the fourth quarter was down year-on-year.

Insurance sales were up 17%, Travel fell 2.0% but saw a better second half, and Home leapt 24%, continuing its period of recovery.

Peter Plumb, MoneySupermarket.com Chief Executive Officer, said: "While the government's Funding For Lending scheme has affected demand for comparing savings products, we remain in a structurally growing market. We'll continue to succeed by carrying on giving customers and product providers a better and broader service than others. That way we can save more people more money and continue to build our business.

"MoneySavingExpert.com has added to what we offer consumers. Our brands - while continuing to operate independently - give us a greater ability to help more customers and will accelerate progress towards our goal of helping every consumer make the most of their money.

"January and February have been good months for us and we expect another record year."

The share price fell 0.98% to 201.20p by 12:20.

NR

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