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Monday 22 October 2018

Moneysupermarket.com shares jump 8% on plans for mortgage comparison site

The company is entering into a joint venture with HD Decisions.

Moneysupermarket is launching a new mortgage comparison site (Joe Giddens/PA)
Moneysupermarket is launching a new mortgage comparison site (Joe Giddens/PA)

By Kalyeena Makortoff, Press Association Chief City Correspondent

Moneysupermarket.com shares soared after the company announced plans for a new mortgage comparison tool alongside an “encouraging” set of half-year results.

The company said it was in the process of developing the tool – called Podium – as part of a joint venture with the two founders of HD Decisions, who have experience in card and loan eligibility and are now working on the “digitisation of mortgages”.

The new platform piqued investor interest, helping send shares higher by more than 8%.

There was also optimism around half-year results, which showed group revenue rising 5% to £173.7 million in the six months to June 30.

Moneysupermarket.com said it was driven by increased energy switching and “solid performance” from its insurance division, where revenues rose 4%.

Turnover from the home services business rose 23% to £22.5 million.

Post-tax profits also jumped 5% to £42.5 million.

Liberum’s Ian Whittaker said that, while first-half results were in line with expectations, “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”.

The company said it was making “good progress” on its strategy, which has included energy monitoring services that remind customers when it has identified an energy deal that better suits their needs.

It is also building an app that will help users “save on their key household bills in one place”.

The mortgage market ... could provide a material avenue for growth Russ Mould, AJ Bell

The planned mortgage offering, Podium, is also part of its revamped strategy.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: “The excitement around price comparison site Moneysupermarket may have less to do with the publication of its first-half results and more to do with the announcement of a new mortgage fintech joint venture called Podium.

“This venture is aimed at developing a mortgage comparison tool. In the longer term, the mortgage market, which the company argues is ‘ripe for disruption’, could provide a material avenue for growth.”

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