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UPDATE posts 30 pct rise in underlying profits
March 2, 2017 / 8:33 AM / 10 months ago

UPDATE posts 30 pct rise in underlying profits

* Adjusted operating profit rose to 30 mln stg

* FY revenue up 19.5 percent to 142.1 mln stg

* CEO Matthew Crummack calls Ogden rate cut an “opportunity” (Adds revenue, leverage details)

By Noor Zainab Hussain and Maiya Keidan

LONDON, March 2 (Reuters) - British price comparison website operator Group Plc reported a 30 percent jump in underlying operating profits on Thursday., which enables consumers to shop around for financial, travel and utility services, said adjusted operating profit last year was 30 million pounds ($36.81 million), up from 23.1 million pounds in 2015.

The company, which was demerged from British insurer esure Group in November, said full-year revenue jumped 19.5 percent to 142.1 million pounds, driven in part by a rise in car insurance premiums, which prompted more consumers to use price comparison websites to switch providers.

A government decision this week to cut the discount rate used by insurers to settle personal injury claims is expected to see car insurance premiums rise even more, and Gocompare’s chief executive, Matthew Crummack, said this should benefit the firm.

“What we hear from the sector about the (discount) rate is it is very likely to push up prices and our experience is that when you see price rises, you tend to see more people looking for better deals and therefore it’s an opportunity for us,” he told Reuters.

The company would not pay a final dividend for 2016 due to having only been listed since November, he added. ($1 = 0.8150 pounds) (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Maiya Keidan; editing by Simon Jessop, Greg Mahlich)

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