Ofgem’s hike to the energy price cap helped to electrify Moneysupermarket in the first three months of the year as the number of households switching supplier reached record levels.
Revenue in the firm’s home services segment, which includes energy switching, soared by a massive 70 per cent to £19.6m in the first quarter, it revealed this morning.
However, the company, which allows customers to compare deals in energy, insurance and money services, warned shareholders that the exceptional boom in home services was likely to “moderate through the year”. It kept its 2019 outlook unchanged.
Meanwhile total revenue grew 12 per cent when excluding its recent acquisition of Decision Technologies.
Shares soared 9.7 per cent on the results.
Russell Pointon, an analyst at Edison Investment Research said: “At the start of the year, guidance for market growth was moderated to four to five per cent and the average of consensus forecasts is for just under nine per cent growth in adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) in 2019.”
The results come around a year after the site said it would reinvent itself by optimising its website and making it easier to browse.
“The reinvent strategy continues with a strong first quarter of trading, notably helping a record number of customers beat the rising energy price cap,” said chief executive Mark Lewis.
Market experts hit back at Ofgem for hiking the average bill for customers on default tariffs to £1,254, a £117 increase. The cap was hiked just months after coming into force for the first time.
Moneysupermarket was one of several comparison services which went on the offensive to warn customers about rising bills from 1 April.
“Go online today and switch to a competitive tariff – it takes five minutes and you could save £200 on your bills. That’s a fifth of what most people are paying at the moment, so it’s worth the effort,” the firm’s energy expert Stephen Murray said at the time.
Figures from Energy UK show their strategy paid off as 615,503 customers moved suppliers last month, up 29 per cent year-on-year. It brings total switches so far this year to 1.5m, a 12 per cent rise on the first quarter of 2018.