April 18, 2019 / 6:24 AM / in a year

Moneysupermarket.com quarterly revenue rises

(Reuters) - Price comparison website Moneysupermarket.com reported higher first-quarter revenue on Thursday as all its divisions performed well, and said it expected slower growth at its Home Services division for the rest of the year after a strong quarter.

The company, which offers price comparisons on insurance, money, home services products, said revenue rose 19 percent to 104.9 million pounds for the quarter ended March.

“Performance of Home Services was exceptional in the first quarter and we expect this to moderate through the year. Our outlook for the year remains unchanged,” the company said in a statement.

The company said it would return 40 million pounds ($52.2 million) to its investors via a special dividend.

Early last year, the website operator said it was reinventing itself to focus on optimising its websites and increasing the ease of browsing to attract more customers.

Moneysupermarket, like its rivals Comparethemarket.com, Gocompare.com and Confused.com, spends heavily on marketing to help attract and retain customers.

Its advertising campaigns, which use the strap line “You’re so Moneysupermarket,” have featured 1980s children’s characters “He-Man” and Skeletor”.

It had warned that earnings would not grow for 2018 as the FTSE 250 firm tried to reinvent itself to focus on more personalisation, mobile and new products like mortgages.

“The reinvent strategy continues with a strong first quarter of trading, notably helping a record number of customers beat the rising energy price cap,” Chief Executive Officer Mark Lewis said.

The utility industry was hit by a price cap, but Britain’s Ofgem in February allowed suppliers to increase bills by more than 10 percent from April 1, after several of them complained that the cap was initially set too low.

Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier

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