£25m sticky-plaster masks Moneysupermarket wounds
by David Masters
Price comparison site moneysupermarket.com is to pay £25 million in special dividends to shore up investor confidence as first half pretax profits plummeted 87%.
The firm said the special dividend of 4.93p per share highlights its “confidence in the ability of the business to continue to generate cash”.
Pre-tax profits for the six months to 30 June were £1.9 million, down from £14.4 million in the same period last year.
Revenues plunged to £68.5 million from £99.4 million.
“Revenues were impacted by the credit crunch which reduced both the supply of credit and consumer discretionary expenditure relative to the same period last year,” the company said in a statement.
Chief executive Peter Plumb said the results reflected a “solid start to the year”.
“We have realigned the organisation to reflect the more difficult economic environment, we have strengthened the management team; and we have started work on re-engineering our systems and ensuring our marketing spend works harder,” Plumb said.
“Most importantly our marketing spend is working harder.
“We are confident that the work we are doing across the business will ensure that moneysupermarket.com is well positioned to capitalise on its strengths when growth returns to our markets.”
The group also announced an interim dividend of 1.3p per share, in line with last year.