MoneySupermarket shareholders get £20m in loyalty points

Price comparison website MoneySupermarket has promised a £20m bonus for shareholders after profits rose 27% - further proof that there's money in frugality...

by Dave Waller
Last Updated: 31 Jul 2013
Underlying profits at the comparison site hit £23m in the six months to the end of June – not bad for a service that simply guides people towards other companies’ stuff. But such straitened times create vast opportunities, and you know a company has realised it’s on to something when it begins sponsoring mainstream shows like ITV’s Britain's Got Talent and filling its ads with comedians – in MoneySupermarket’s case, Omid Djalili. In fact it pushed its marketing spend up by a third through the period.

Of course its rivals compare fairly well in that department, with high-profile advertising becoming the norm: Go Compare chose to channel its brand through an omnipresent opera singer, Compare the Market through talking meerkats. Which suggests that an irritating hook is all you need to entice people when they’re craning their necks around for the best deals. Clearly a backdrop of soaring costs helps too: MoneySupermarket saw a 57% increase in revenues from customers seeking insurance, while increases in energy prices sparked a surge in the number looking for better utilities deals.

All of which led group revenues to £91.7m, an increase of 28%, while profits more than quadrupled to £8.8m. And some good news for founder Simon Nixon: the company is paying its shareholders a special dividend of 3.93p per share, worth a total of £20m. Nixon owns 52% of the shares and stands to land £14m – which may in turn make him less likely to slap a price tag on MoneySupermarket and stick it on the shelf.

Let’s hope Nixon doesn’t end up doing a Stelios – the latter remained the majority shareholder in EasyJet when he floated it in 2000, and relations with the board have been turbulent ever since. That’s the thing: you can’t always shop around…  

Finance Retail

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