The share price of Moneysupermarket (LSE: MONY) is currently up over 4%, following the publication of its preliminary results for the year to 31 December 2013.
Statutory profit after tax was up 40%, at £34.7m, on revenue that had increased 10%, to £225.6m. The company also reported that its gross margin had increased to 77.8%, from 2012’s 74.1%.
Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) grew by 26% to £84m, and the board is recommending a final dividend of 5.12p per share — an increase of 30% over last year’s final payout. The hefty hike in the final dividend means that the full-year payout of 7.28p per share is up 27% over 2012.
The company said that it has benefitted from a diversified business, with growth in its ‘energy’ and ‘travel’ revenues offsetting the impact of the “Funding for Lending” scheme on its vertical ‘money’ market and compensating for a slowing insurance business in the second half of the year. It also reported that it’s MoneySavingExpert.com business “continues to trade well”, having generated EBITDA of £13.3m, up 475% on 2012.
However, the payment of a £70m special dividend during the year resulted in the company having £21m of net debt at the end of 2013, compared to the almost £19m it had in cash at the end of the previous year.
Commenting on the results, chief executive Peter Plumb said:
“We invested across the business last year and it paid off nicely with higher revenues, profits up 26%, and a dividend that was tripled as we returned over £100m to shareholders.
“We won’t stand still – we’ll build on our innovation in 2013 by doubling our capital investment for 2014, and bringing market leading services in Travel and Insurance to customers’ mobiles and desktops.
“Our goal is to save more people more money in 2014, and we’re on course to deliver that.“
Despite this morning’s rise, at 188p, Moneysupermarket’s share price is down 7.7% on this time last year, during which time the FTSE 100 index has gained almost 7%. But long-term shareholders will be taking comfort in the 333% rise over the past five years, which has eclipsed the index’s mere 77% increase over the same period.
Jon doesn't own shares in Moneysupermarket. The Motley Fool has recommended Moneysupermarket.