Group PLC () 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
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 () 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.