Moneysupermarket invests £17m to stay ahead of the game

PERSONAL finance and holiday price comparison website Moneysupermarket says it is spending £17m this year to improve its users’ experience in an ever more competitive sector.

The company, based in Ewloe near Chester,  also reported robust half year results which showed 9% growth in both underlying earnings to £43.6m and revenue to £122.4m.

Moneysupermarket said its first half investment was £7.8m in upgrading its technology and data assets, which is part of a three year programme.

The investment is focused on three areas – upgrading systems, developing its  data asset, and developing the TravelSupermarket site.  

The upgrade of the MoneySuperMarket systems involves rolling out new systems, parts of which have already been rolled out in TravelSupermarket. The company described this as a “major upgrade to the engine that lies behind the website” and said customers will notice better connectivity across channels and  be able to use different devices to conduct the same transaction, picking up where they left off.  

The company made a small acquisition in March, buying the OnTrees bank account and credit card account aggregation service for £1.5m. The web and mobile app allows consumers to see an overview of their finances by connecting their bank accounts and credit cards in a single tool.

Chief executive Peter Plumb said: “It’s been a good first half of 2014, with good revenue growth in our MoneySuperMarket, MoneySavingExpert and TravelSupermarket brands.  Group revenue and profits were 9% higher than the first half of 2013.

“Helping customers with new ways to save money and select the products they need means we have to invest in our business.  And that’s just what we’re doing, spending £17m this year to enhance our site for customers, whether they choose to use mobiles, tablets or desktop PCs to compare prices, features and products.”

The group saw revenue growth in the core site (money, insurance and home services), while TravelSupermarket and MoneySavingExpert – performed particularly well with revenue growth of 35% and 28% respectively.

The group hikes its offline marketing spend by 15% to £16m in the first half to support its “How I Roll” advertising campaign.