Kiss of life for Cupid as review finds no fakes

BRITISH online dating company Cupid said yesterday that an independent review of its operations did not find any evidence of the company using fake profiles to boost its membership, sending its shares up as much as 10 per cent.

The BBC said in February that members of Cupid’s online dating services suspected fake messages had been used to encourage free users to sign up for paid subscriptions.

Cupid, which operates the benaughty.com and flirt.com websites, said it is making changes to the structure and approach of its so--called motivation team so that Cupid staff will be clearly identified when interacting with customers.

Shares in the company rose more than eight per cent yesterday to close at 78p.

They have lost roughly two-thirds of their value so far this year.

The conclusion of the review is also expected to help the company in the sale of its casual dating business. Cupid had said last month that it had received several interests from potential buyers for its casual dating sites.

“People who are potential buyers in the business, and who may have seen risks around the practices should be reassured. That means the businesses are easier to sell and may get a higher price depending on individual negotiations,” Peel Hunt analyst Stephen Yau said.