Moneysupermarket profits rise 14%

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Moneysupermarket.com’s key insurance business continued to expand at a healthy pace at the start of 2017, as the price comparison group confirmed a record year of trading.

The FTSE 250 company increased its full-year dividend by 8 per cent to 9.85p per share and announced a £40m share buyback programme, after pre-tax profits for 2016 rose 14 per cent, to £91m.

The company reported full-year revenues of £316.5m, as it predicted in a trading update last month. The 12 per cent increase compared to 2015 was ahead of earlier analyst forecasts.

Moneysupermarket’s insurance comparison business has benefited from rising insurance prices encouraging people to shop around for better deals, a trend which is set to continue after the government announced new rules around payouts for victims of road accidents yesterday.

Under the new rules, victims will receive far higher compensation payouts than either insurance groups or the NHS were expecting.

Moneysupermarket said its insurance revenues and credit card and loan comparison businesses both enjoyed “strong growth” in the first two months of this year, though low interest rates continued to disincentivise savings and current account switching.

The company said overall revenues are currently behind the same point last year, though this was affected by the lack of a collective switch event so far this year, and it is confident of meeting full-year targets.

Outgoing chief executive Peter Plumb said:

Our technology investment programme is equipping us to save more families more money on a wider range of bills in the years ahead. Using data to make comparison more personalised, more informed, quicker and easier is differentiating us from other comparison sites.

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