Energy switch enquiries lift Moneysupermarket

 
Oliver Smith
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SWATHES of customers looking to switch energy suppliers boosted Moneysupermarket.com’s revenue 25 per cent in the first few weeks of October.

The company, whose website helps customers to compare insurance, utilities and energy prices, reported overall revenue growth for the third quarter to 30 September of five per cent.

Moneysupermarket attributed the dramatic increase in October to the spike in energy costs levied at customers towards the end of the month.

“Revenues from energy switching in particular have been very strong as consumers sought better deals in the face of rapidly rising domestic fuel bills...” Moneysupermarket said in the report.

Energy suppliers including market leader Centrica and SSE announced big rises in energy charges last month, with Centrica raising prices by an average 9.2 per cent.

Moneysupermarket said it expects full-year earnings to be a mid-single digit per cent ahead of current consensus expectations, which stand at £78.4m according to the company.

The company also said it has appointed Matthew Price, currently finance director at Costa Coffee, to join Moneysupermarket as finance chief during the first quarter 2014.

“As a top ten shareholder we are encouraged with the trading update from Moneysupermarket today. Not surprisingly as the leading price comparison site, they have benefited from a sharp increase in energy switching,” said Aviva’s head of institutional equities Trevor Green.

Numis analyst David McCann said Moneysupermarket’s results were positive, however he believes the market continues to ascribe too much of a premium to the stock.

“We continue to believe that the stock deserves no more than a market multiple of 13 times price to earnings ratio (the company currently trades at 15.5 times),” said McCann who did upgrade the stock from sell to reduce.

Moneysupermarket’s share price leapt 15.7 per cent on the news, closing yesterday at 179.7p.