Cupid sacks broker after share scare

Cupid, the online dating company, topped off an eventful week by sacking one of its brokers after short sellers pounced on the stock late last week.

Numis, which shared broking responsibilities with Peel Hunt, was let go after shares in Cupid fell nearly 60 per cent at the end of last week after reports that the company used fake dating profiles to entice customers to sign up for premium services.

Cupid denied the allegations on Monday, which helped the shares rally throughout the week.

The Edinburgh-based group, which operates websites such as Be Naughty and Flirt, also called in a £2.2m loan to a company in which its chief executive Bill Dobbie was a shareholder. The company said it did this “to eliminate any speculation on the subject”.

Cupid’s shares ended the week up 75.5 per cent at 86p – significantly lower than the 114p it closed at before the allegations emerged late last week.

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