Market Spooked By Group Plc’s Mixed Results

Group revenues increase at Group plc (LON:MONY), but fears over declining sales growth send shares plummeting.

| More on:

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

Price comparison website (LSE: MONY) today announced mixed results for the six months ending 30 June. A spooked market sent shares down over 15% in early trading.

Group revenue for increased 10% to £112.3m for the period, the company reported, led by strong performance in its Insurance, Home Services and Travel businesses. But the group’s Money business continues to be impacted by the ‘Funding for Lending’ scheme, which reduces what savers earn on their deposits and is negatively impacting’s revenues as well.

5 Stocks For Trying To Build Wealth After 50

One notable billionaire made 99% of his current wealth after his 50th birthday. And here at The Motley Fool, we believe it is NEVER too late to start trying to build your fortune in the stock market. Our expert Motley Fool analyst team have shortlisted 5 companies that they believe could be a great fit for investors aged 50+ trying to build long-term, diversified portfolios.

Click here to claim your free copy now!

Revenue from the Money business slipped 13% in the first six months of the year, despite a 4% increase in visitors to the Money comparison pages.

The Group has separately announced today that Paul Doughty, chief financial officer, will step down no later than June 2014.

Peter Plumb, chief executive officer, chose to focus on the positive, commenting:  

“We’ve had a good first half of 2013. We grew our Insurance, Home Services and Travel businesses which more than offset lower demand in our Money business where savings revenues continue to be impacted by the Government’s ‘Funding for Lending’ scheme which is reducing what savers earn on their deposits. 

“ has proved a powerful addition to the MoneySupermarket team. It continues to prosper with the launch of the innovative Cheap Energy Club which has proved a hit because it helps consumers monitor and reduce their energy bills.”

Other financial highlights include the group’s gross margins, which improved to 77.2%, benefiting largely from the acquisition of (MSE) in September 2012. The company reported that trading in MSE is 10% ahead of where it was at this time last year.

Total profits from operating activities reached £20m, compared with £11.5m for the first six months of 2012, the company reported. Though administrative expenses did increase, distribution costs were down 5%.

On 26 July, paid a special dividend of 12.92p per share. This large payout combined with the cost of acquiring MSE have now hit’s balance sheet — cash balances still sat at £25.4m at the end of June, compared with £36.7m at this point last year. also announced a 20% increase to its interim dividend, to 2.16p per share. 

Plumb added: “The 20% increase in the interim dividend reflects our progress which is only possible because of continuing investment in our brands, in digital marketing and technology, and in making sure customers find us the best shop for comparing prices. That way we can save more people more money and continue to build our business. If you’re on a tight budget is one of the easiest ways to make your pounds go further. So we’re glad we are on course to help more people save more money in 2013.”

Investors following will no doubt look to see how the firm can get its Money business — which comprises 25% of overall revenues — growing again.

If you’d like to see what share we’re recommending for growth-geared investors today, it’s not too late to grab your copy of Our Top Growth Share for 2013.

Spoiler alert: It’s not

But it is a well-run company that we’ve identified as having superior growth potential. Full details are available now – click here for your free copy.

> Jill does not own shares of any company mentioned.

Is this little-known company the next ‘Monster’ IPO?

Right now, this ‘screaming BUY’ stock is trading at a steep discount from its IPO price, but it looks like the sky is the limit in the years ahead.

Because this North American company is the clear leader in its field which is estimated to be worth US$261 BILLION by 2025.

The Motley Fool UK analyst team has just published a comprehensive report that shows you exactly why we believe it has so much upside potential.

But I warn you, you’ll need to act quickly, given how fast this ‘Monster IPO’ is already moving.

Click here to see how you can get a copy of this report for yourself today

More on Company Comment

Aerial shot showing an aircraft shadow flying over an idyllic beach
Investing Articles

Rolls-Royce shares are trading for pennies. Should I buy them today?

Just because Rolls-Royce shares cost pennies doesn't make them cheap. Its troubles aren't over yet.

Read more »

Business development to success and FTSE 100 250 350 growth concept.
Investing Articles

8.5% and 9.5% dividend yields! 2 FTSE 100 stocks to buy today

The dividend yields at these brilliant blue-chips sit very close to double digits. I think they could be too good…

Read more »

Investing Articles

Tesco vs Royal Mail: which cheap FTSE 100 share should I buy?

The Tesco and Royal Mail share prices both seem to offer great value at recent levels. So which cheap FTSE…

Read more »

macro shot of computer monitor with FTSE 100 stock market data in trading application
Investing Articles

2 FTSE 100 dividend-paying stocks to buy in an ISA

The deadline for new money going into Stocks and Shares ISAs is just around the corner. Here are two FTSE…

Read more »

Business man on stock market crash financial trade indicator background.
Investing Articles

2 dividend paying banking stocks to combat inflation in 2022

With inflation taking off in the US, the Fed may have to raise rates. Stephen Bhasera believes these banking stocks…

Read more »

Various denominations of notes in a pile
Investing Articles

A high-dividend stock I’d buy now

Why this high-dividend stock is potentially more than just a sleepy cash-cow business and growth looks set to kick in…

Read more »

Investing Articles

2 FTSE 100 dividend stocks I’d aim to never sell

I wouldn't try to hold all my investments forever, but these two FTSE 100 dividend stocks both have many qualities…

Read more »

Scene depicting the City of London, home of the FTSE 100
Investing Articles

With £2,000 to invest, I’d buy these FTSE 100 shares with big dividends

Several FTSE 100 shares pay out big dividends, but I'd start my research with these defensive operators in a growing…

Read more »