Moneysupermarket earnings up in face of Google threat

PRICE comparison website Moneysupermarket.com said yesterday it expects its earnings for the first half of the year to rise by 24 per cent compared with last year.

The group, which compares prices on savings, loans and purchases on its site, said it was predicting a 15 per cent increase in revenue to about £102m and that adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation would be about £28.5m, which was in line with the group’s prior expectations.

The rise in earnings is considered especially impressive since the comparative period last year had been boosted by a heavy advertising campaign including the sponsorship of Britain’s Got Talent.

Last month the company agreed to the £87m purchase of personal finance website MoneySavingExpert, which is likely to put a dent in the £36.7m cash reserves held by the company.

The website faces competition from search engine giant Google, which launched a price comparison service in the UK in May after spending more than £40m on the operation. Many of Moneysupermarket.com’s visitors reach the website through the search engine.

Shares in the group, which had fallen following Google’s entry into price comparison, rose slightly.