Zoopla owner ZPG expected to see jump in profits after General Election energy focus boost for price comparison sites

 
Jasper Jolly
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Zoopla is ZPG's flagship brand

A General Election jump in the numbers of consumers switching energy provider is expected to boost portal owner ZPG to a surge in profits when it reports full-year earnings on Wednesday.

Analysts expect a jump of more than 20 per cent in full-year revenues for the owner of sites such as Zoopla and Uswitch, according to consensus estimates collected by Bloomberg.

Strong revenue growth at ZPG will drive a similar increase in earnings to £92.4m, up from the £77.1m reported in 2016, analysts expect.

Read more: GoCompare shuts down Zoopla's "highly opportunistic" takeover bid

The FTSE 250 firm changed its name in February, from Zoopla to the less inspiring ZPG, after expanding its portfolio of websites with a string of acquisitions and an attempted swoop for price comparison rival Gocompare.

Gocompare rejected the approach earlier this month, saying it was “highly opportunistic”. Last week ZPG confirmed it will not make an improved offer to Gocompare, saying it will take a “disciplined approach” to capital allocation.

Shares in ZPG have suffered over the last year, in spite of the M&A activity, but investors may be underestimating the switching activity which drives revenue growth at the firm’s price comparison sites, according to analysts at Australian bank Macquarie.

Meanwhile the flagship property portal site, Zoopla, may be winning back estate agents from agent-backed competitor Onthemarket, according to Jonathan Helliwell, an analyst at stockbroker Panmure Gordon.

ZPG also counts Hometrack and Money.co.uk, bought in September for £80m, among its properties, with plans to cross-sell products across its various platforms. The firm was only founded in 2007.

Read more: OnTheMarket rubs salt in Zoopla and Rightmove's wounds announcing £250m IPO

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