Proactiveinvestors United Kingdom Proactiveinvestors United Kingdom RSS feed en Mon, 22 Jul 2019 01:05:11 +0100 Genera CMS (Proactiveinvestors) (Proactiveinvestors) <![CDATA[News - Moneysupermarket expects profit to meet market forecasts after solid first half ]]> Price comparison website Group PLC (LON:MONY) said it is on track to meet its market forecasts for the year after revenue jumped 17% in the first half.

In the six months to the end of June, revenue rose to £199.4mln from £173.7mln the same period a year ago and adjusted earnings (EBITDA) rose 17% to £72.9mln in the six months.

The insurance division delivered a 3% increase in revenue to £96.1mln, supported by motor and home insurance demand.

READ: reports 20% revenue jump as energy price cap causes rush of switching

Revenue from the money arm was up 5% to £46.5mln on strong growth in credit while revenue from the home services business gained 52% to £34.2mln as the increase in the energy price cap in January caused a rush of customers to switch suppliers.

Decision Technologies, the home communications and mobile phone comparison business acquired last year, contributed £11.4mln to other revenue.

Reinvent strategy bears fruit 

The company said it saw benefits from its strategy to reinvent itself to focus on more personalisation, mobile and new products such as mortgages.

Moneysupermarket is in the second year of its so-called ‘Reinvent’ strategy and the company expects the restructuring to cost up to £2mln this year.  

The group expects to meet analysts’ estimates for 2019 adjusted EBITDA of £136.6mln to £145.4mln.

The interim dividend was lifted by 5% to 3.10p.

"We grew the business strongly in the first half, already helping households save over £1bn this year, particularly after the energy price cap came in and then went up,” said chief executive Mark Lewis.

 “Millions of people faced rising energy bills and we helped many of them to find a better deal, saving them hundreds of pounds in just a few minutes on our sites.”

Peel Hunt downgrades in absence of guidance upgrade 

Peel Hunt cut its rating on the stock to 'hold' from 'add' as it was hoping for an update to the full-year guidance. It left its estimates for the year unchanged. 

"The shares have performed very strongly year to date and now trade at a price to earnings ratio of 22.1x 2019 financial year, well above the recent averages."

Shaers fell 1.7% o 395p in morning trading

Thu, 18 Jul 2019 08:22:00 +0100
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Interim Results ]]> Thu, 18 Jul 2019 07:00:04 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> Tue, 02 Jul 2019 17:34:11 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Directorate Change ]]> Wed, 26 Jun 2019 08:31:25 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Tue, 25 Jun 2019 14:01:17 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Thu, 13 Jun 2019 08:25:41 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> Fri, 31 May 2019 09:00:03 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Holding(s) in Company ]]> Thu, 30 May 2019 14:06:21 +0100 <![CDATA[News - UBS reckons it’s all starting to come together for; upgrades to ‘buy’ ]]> Group PLC (LON:MONY) shares nudged higher on Wednesday after UBS analysts said the price comparison site was about to enter a “virtuous circle”.

The stock is already up by a third so far this year, but the Swiss investment bank has still moved to upgrade its recommendation to ‘buy’. It has also hiked its price target by a third up to 415p (from 305p).

READ: reports 20% jump in revenues

The number crunchers are predicting revenue and earnings per share growth to kick on over the next few years following a period of heavy investment into improving the customer journey.

“As conversion rates improve and user engagement initiatives come through, we now think earnings growth can accelerate to double-digit by FY20, with high single-digit revenue growth and operational leverage,” read a note to clients.

Competitive threats receding

UBS added that the market “appears overly pessimistic” over the impact of competition, and its analysts think the threat from credit score providers such as ClearScore “could be receding”.

“Through 2018 we were worried that the rise of credit scoring apps like ClearScore could translate into further share loss for MONY in the credit card/loans segment.

“Peaking app ranking for ClearScore (according to UBS Evidence Lab data) and MONY rolling out its own credit scoring tool since the beginning of 2019 make us much more positive going forward on MONY's money vertical.”

Insurance premiums set to rise

An indirect benefit to Moneysupermarket is the expected pick-up in end markets, particularly insurance.

Claims inflation has outpaced premium inflation of late, but UBS forecasts the two will catch up by the end of the year.

“In 2016 and 2017, MONY benefited from a hard insurance cycle with double-digit premium inflation.

“The pricing outlook on insurance is now highly uncertain despite +5% annual claim inflation, but we are already well in the insurance soft cycle with the risk now lying on the upside.” shares rose 1.5% to 371p on Wednesday afternoon, not far off all-time highs.

Wed, 22 May 2019 13:31:00 +0100
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Result of AGM ]]> Thu, 09 May 2019 14:00:01 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Result of AGM ]]> Thu, 09 May 2019 11:47:43 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> Tue, 30 Apr 2019 09:00:02 +0100 <![CDATA[News - reports 20% revenue jump as energy price cap causes rush of switching ]]> Group PLC (LON:MONY) has reported a jump in revenues of around 20% in its first quarter after the newly raised energy price cap caused a rush of customers to switch suppliers.

In a trading update, the FTSE 250-price comparison site said revenues had risen 19% to £104.9mln in the quarter, boosted by a 70% jump in its Home Services arm to £19.6mln as a result of the uptick in switching numbers. On an underlying basis, excluding comparison firm Decision Technologies which was acquired in August, revenue was up 12%.

READ: higher ahead of trading update as Liberum hikes its target price

The UK’s energy regulator, Ofgem, announced in February that a price cap of two frequently used tariffs would increase due to higher wholesale prices, prompting the flurry of switching.

Growth in the larger Money and Insurance arms was less dramatic, with revenues up 9% and 3% respectively.

The company said motor insurance had benefited from improved conversion, which had helped offset subdued trading in life insurance as a result of more incentives from competitors.

Looking ahead, Home Services was expected to “moderate” in the rest of the year as the dust settled on the price cap, although the firm said it was confident of meeting current expectations.

READ: up as full-year numbers accompanied by additional cash return, chairman news

The group’s chief executive, Mark Lewis, added that the company had brought in “new branding and advertising” along with new products like Credit Monitor as part of its innovation strategy.

The firm is trying to reinvent itself by making itself more personalised and moving deeper into product areas like mortgages, in a push to become a more subscription-style service as opposed to the tradition price comparison model which relies on heavy marketing spending and is more vulnerable to disruption by search engine algorithms.

Further to its announcement of a £40mln return of cash to shareholders in its full year results in February, the company also said it would pay out a special dividend of 7.46p per share on 21 May.

Investment likely cause of maintained guidance, says analyst

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said that the first quarter numbers were “all the more impressive when you consider demand for [the company’s] services are often seen as being linked to the fortunes of the UK economy”.

“While the latter might be struggling, mired in political and economic uncertainty, Moneysupermarket is forging ahead investing in new technology and expanding into new areas.”

Mould added that the need for increased investment in its new strategy was probably the reason why Moneysupermarket was keeping its full year guidance unchanged despite the “stellar” first quarter.

“A new strategy built around a tailored service which would push products to consumers based on their needs and profile is seen as a potential game-changer for the business. It could create more of a subscriber-based model, with a stronger connection with users which could help address the significant marketing costs and competition associated with the price comparison market.”

Performance beats predictions at Liberum

In a note to clients, analysts at Liberum said the first quarter trading had been “much stronger” than they had expected, with the underlying revenue growth of 12% beating their own estimates of 7%.

“We would expect consensus revenues to tick up but the company has said it is happy with current market consensus, suggesting adjusted profit numbers will stay the same.”

Liberum has a ‘buy’ rating and 520p target price on Moneysupermarket.

In early deals on Thursday, shares were up 7.9% at 375.9p.

-- Adds analyst comment and updates share price --

Thu, 18 Apr 2019 08:37:00 +0100
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Trading Statement ]]> Thu, 18 Apr 2019 07:00:05 +0100 <![CDATA[News - higher ahead of trading update as Liberum hikes its target price ]]> Liberum Capital raised its target for PLC (LON:MONY) ahead of a first-quarter trading update from the price comparison website (PCW) group due on Thursday.

The City broker hiked its target price for the FTSE 250-listed firm to 520p from 500p and reiterated a ‘buy’ on the stock, which was trading at 348p, up 0.9% on Monday’s close.

READ: up as full-year numbers accompanied by additional cash return

In a note to clients, Liberum’s analysts said: “We expect Q1’s like for like growth rate to be c.5% vs 4% for Q1'18, with a different mix of revenues and reported numbers benefiting from the inclusion of the Decision Technologies acquisition.”

“More fundamentally,” they added, “it is our favourite play in the PCW space (and one of our most favoured portal names) and we see the company’s new strategy as a fundamental game changer to the business, which should both accelerate revenue growth and drive an improvement in margins.” 

Tue, 16 Apr 2019 13:42:00 +0100
<![CDATA[News - slips as Berenberg says “time to take profits” ]]> Group PLC (LON:MONY) shares slipped in mid-morning on Monday after Berenberg downgraded the stock to ‘sell’, saying risks were “not priced in” and the shares were currently overvalued.

In a note, analysts at the investment bank said “weakening end markets, growing margin pressures and intensifying competition in its core verticals” meant the FTSE 250 price comparison website would struggle to increase its low single-digit profit growth trajectory.

READ: up as full-year numbers accompanied by additional cash return, chairman news

“While we acknowledge that investment has yielded some improvement in its platform, we do not believe it is enough to offset the structural headwinds across its core markets, and taking market share from what is a better-invested competitor set than before will be difficult.”

Given the shares had risen around 21% in the last 3 months, Berenberg said it was “time to take profits” after the strong run, although the bank did up its target price for the group to 285p from 275p previously.

Analysts also highlighted a longer-term threat of a reduction in the use of intermediaries like MONY as customers moved away from traditional channels with more widespread adoption of open banking (customers giving providers access to their financial info to recommend products) and the availability of business-to-business switching.

They added that while the company’s push into mortgage switching could open “a new large market”, it would require more upfront investment to build a product, bringing risk to near-term forecasts.

Shares were down 1.3% at 344.2p.

Mon, 08 Apr 2019 11:12:00 +0100
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Holding(s) in Company ]]> Fri, 05 Apr 2019 13:20:06 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Fri, 29 Mar 2019 09:07:10 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> Fri, 29 Mar 2019 09:00:04 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Holding(s) in Company ]]> Tue, 05 Mar 2019 14:58:15 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Annual Financial Report ]]> Tue, 05 Mar 2019 07:00:02 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> Thu, 28 Feb 2019 10:00:03 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Mon, 25 Feb 2019 14:02:32 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Holding(s) in Company ]]> Mon, 25 Feb 2019 07:00:03 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Fri, 15 Feb 2019 14:16:02 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Fri, 15 Feb 2019 14:15:12 +0000 <![CDATA[News - up as full-year numbers accompanied by additional cash return, chairman news ]]> Group PLC (LON:MONY) saw its shares rise on Monday after it accompanied full-year results with plans to return cash to shareholders and revealed that it had found a successor to its retiring chairman. 

For the year ended 31 December 2018, the FTSE 250-listed group saw its adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) increase by 2% to £129.4mln, a touch above expectations, up from £127.2mln a year earlier, as revenue increased by 8% to £355.6m from £329.7mln the year before 

READ: Moneysupermarket's new strategy a game changer, says Liberum as it upgrades to 'buy' The price comparison website group raised its total dividends by 6% to 11.05p per share for 2018, up from 10.44p a year earlier, and announced its intention to return an additional £40mln to shareholders in 2019.   The firm also said it is confident of delivering market expectations for the current year, with trading in the first six weeks encouraging.   In a separate statement, Moneysupermarket also announced that Robin Freestone will be appointed its chairman at the conclusion of its annual general meeting on 9 May, with Bruce Carnegie-Brown, the group's chairman since April 2014, standing down. Freestone was chief financial officer at Pearson PLC (LON:PSON) from 2006 to 2015.   In afternoon trading, the FTSE 250-listed firm saw its shares rise 5% to 328.1p. Liberum repeats 'buy' In a note to clients commenting on the results, analysts at Liberum Capital pointed out: "Management has credited strong top-line growth to significant progress in executing their new strategy, and unlocking new market growth. The group has met their stated FY18 EBITDA guidance of £128.2mln-£131.2mln, and has set FY19 EBITDA guidance of £134.3mln-£149.8mln."

Liberum maintained a ‘buy' rating and 500p target price on Moneysupermarket shares.

Thu, 14 Feb 2019 14:10:00 +0000
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Directorate Change ]]> Thu, 14 Feb 2019 07:00:10 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Final Results ]]> Thu, 14 Feb 2019 07:00:03 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Holding(s) in Company ]]> Wed, 06 Feb 2019 14:53:35 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Block listing Interim Review ]]> Thu, 31 Jan 2019 08:30:02 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> Mon, 31 Dec 2018 09:00:01 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> Fri, 30 Nov 2018 13:10:44 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Holding(s) in Company ]]> Fri, 30 Nov 2018 09:37:19 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Holding(s) in Company ]]> Fri, 16 Nov 2018 09:11:31 +0000 <![CDATA[News - Moneysupermarket's new strategy a game changer, says Liberum as it upgrades to 'buy' ]]> Group PLC’s (LON:MONY) new strategy to a more subscription-style model is a game changer, Liberum said as it turned positive on the stock.

Shares in the price comparison website gained 2.5% to 306.9p in morning trading as Liberum raised its recommendation on the company to ‘buy’ from ‘hold’ and raised its target price to 500p from 295p.

READ: Falling insurance premiums fail to dent’s third-quarter revenues

The firm, which offers deals on credit cards, insurance, and utilities, is trying to reinvent itself by making itself more personalised and moving deeper into product areas like mortgages.

“Our view is the company’s new strategy will transform the model into something more akin to a ‘subscription’-style business with a wider potential market, reducing marketing cost growth, and significant opportunities in the mortgage market,” LIberum said.

Liberum said Moneysupermarket’s current business model is “quite volatile and rather unpredictable”, requiring heavy marketing spending while being vulnerable to disruption by outside factors like changes to Google’s search algorithms. The broker thinks the new strategy will see the company become a more predictable and stable business.

“We have always been cautious on the price comparison website (PCW) model, because we have seen it as one that has relatively low barriers to entry, little customer loyalty and requires constant marketing to attract customers onto the website,” it said.

“However, we see Moneysupermarket's new strategy as a game changer, promising to re-invent the model with a personalised service that should, if successful, remove many of these issues.”

Fri, 02 Nov 2018 10:25:00 +0000
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Thu, 11 Oct 2018 11:47:41 +0100 <![CDATA[News - Falling insurance premiums fail to dent’s third-quarter revenues ]]> Price comparison firm Group PLC (LON:MONY) managed to eke out growth in its core insurance division in the second quarter despite a falling premiums cycle.

Insurance revenues, which account for more than half of group turnover, rose 2% in the three months ended September 30 to £48.7mln.

That is despite a well-publicised fall in car insurance premiums which have seen double-digit declines recently, fuelled by a crackdown on fraudulent whiplash claims.

READ: posts better-than-expected Q2 revenue

Coupled with growth in its money division, steady trading in its home services arm and the recent addition of Decision Technologies, core group revenues rose 2% to £85.1mln in the third quarter.

Over the nine months of the year so far, revenues are up 4% to £245.3mln.

“Trading continues on track as we reinvent the business to help our customers save more money,” said chief executive Mark Lewis.

“Decision Tech is now on board with its B2B comparison expertise. Energy switching in our Home Services business was better than expected with customers taking advantage of great 18-month fixed deals to beat rising prices.”

As for its outlook, Moneysupermarket told investors it remains on course to meet current market expectations.

Shares were down 1% to 261.3p early on Thursday.

Thu, 11 Oct 2018 08:51:00 +0100
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Trading Statement ]]> Thu, 11 Oct 2018 07:00:04 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Scilla Grimble - Appointment Date Confirmation ]]> Thu, 04 Oct 2018 12:59:55 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> Fri, 28 Sep 2018 09:00:04 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Wed, 19 Sep 2018 09:19:58 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Tue, 11 Sep 2018 09:30:31 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> Fri, 24 Aug 2018 13:09:20 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Holding(s) in Company ]]> Fri, 10 Aug 2018 11:21:18 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Completion of acquisition of Decision Technologies ]]> Fri, 10 Aug 2018 07:00:03 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Acquisition of Decision Technologies Limited ]]> Tue, 07 Aug 2018 07:11:39 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Directorate Change ]]> Thu, 02 Aug 2018 07:00:25 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Block listing Interim Review ]]> Tue, 31 Jul 2018 09:00:02 +0100 <![CDATA[News - posts better-than-expected second-quarter revenue, boosted by energy switching site ]]> Group PLC (LON:MONY) saw its shares jump higher on Thursday as the price comparison website group reported better-than-expected growth in second-quarter revenue, boosted by its energy switching services.

The FTSE 250-listed firm posted a 5% increase in group revenue to £173.7mln for the six months to 30 June 18, with its adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) flat at £62.2mln.

READ: on track as first-quarter revenues rise 4%

The group’s net cash at the period end was £24.4mln, up 38% from the same stage a year earlier, and it hiked its interim dividend by 4% to 2.95p, up from 2.84p in 2017.

It said its board remains confident of delivering market expectations for the year.

Mark Lewis, Moneysupermarket’s chief executive officer said: "Our trading is on track and our Reinvent strategy to help people save more money across more household bills, is moving ahead. In particular, our expanding product engineering hub is making it easier for customers to switch.”

The firm also announced that it had established a 50/50 joint venture with Matt Denman and Mark Hawkins, who previously developed technology to give customers eligibility information for loans, to build an online comparison tool for mortgages.

Lewis commented: "We all know finding a better mortgage is complicated. We said we would do something about this and today we announce Podium, a new mortgage fintech, to build a comparison tool to bring customers the digitisation of mortgages - an easier and better way to arrange the mortgage that suits them."

Liberum says “numbers will be seen as encouraging”

In a note to clients, analysts at Liberum Capital said: “There are encouraging early signs that the new strategy, with the focus on personalisation, which should help to lock the consumer more into the range of products, is starting to work.”

They added: “We would not expect consensus to change for the FY - the company highlighted that Q3 will see a negative drag effect in Home Services from tough comps. Nevertheless, the numbers will be seen as encouraging.”

Liberum repeated a ‘hold’ rating at 295p price target on Moneysupermarket.

In afternoon trading, Moneysupermarket shares were 7.3% higher at 331.9p.

Thu, 19 Jul 2018 13:18:00 +0100