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Trading Statement

Released 07:00 11-Jan-2013

RNS Number : 3063V Group PLC
11 January 2013 Group PLC

11 January 2013


Post Close Trading Statement


The Board expects full year adjusted revenues1 to increase around 15% to £204.5m (2011:£178.5m) and adjusted EBITDA to be around £66.0m, an increase of approximately 26% (2011: £52.6m)2.  The acquisition of, which was completed on 21 September 2012, contributed approximately £1.8m of revenues from providers other than and £2.8m of adjusted EBITDA to the Group in 2012. Revenues generated by from traffic generated by have been included within revenues in the commentary below consistent with prior periods.


Trading in the fourth quarter was satisfactory with Group revenues approximately 18% ahead of the same period last year. Excluding, Group revenues were around 14% ahead of the same period last year with lower demand for comparison of savings products in the Money vertical offset by improving trading in Insurance, Home Services and Travel. Revenue in savings was impacted by lower competition among banks for retail deposits, many of which sought low cost funding from the Bank of England's 'Funding for Lending' scheme rather than from retail deposits.  Group EBITDA was more than 30% ahead of the same period last year. Excluding, Group adjusted EBITDA rose slightly ahead of revenues.


As highlighted in the interim statement issued on 26 July 2012, the Group received agreement from HMRC for the application of a new VAT recovery method. The Group received all monies owing from HMRC in respect of its claims in December 2012. The total value of the credit for the period from 1 April 2008 to the end of 2012 will be shown in the Group's 31 December 2012 financial statements, net of fees, and is in the region of £10.6m. As a result the Group has recognised a credit, net of professional fees, of £4.5m in 2012 and £1.9m in 2011, included in adjusted EBITDA above.


The Group has written down its investment in Financial Services Net Limited (FSN).  It was acquired in October 2010 and comprises a number of direct match domain names but trading has been impacted by the lower importance of such direct match names in natural search algorithms. Consequently the Group will recognise an impairment charge in the region of £4.2m in its financial statements which has not been included in calculating adjusted EBITDA above.


As at 31 December 2012 the Group had cash balances of £17.7m and no debt having repaid all of the debt associated with the acquisition of


The results for the year will be announced on 5 March 2013.


For more information, please contact: Group PLC


Paul Doughty, Chief Financial Officer, 01244 665700


·      The information in this release is based on management information.



1Revenues in 2011 were adjusted to remove the impact of a successful challenge by the Group to HMRC relating to the VAT treatment of certain of its supplies. The portion of the settlement received in 2011 relating to periods prior to 2011 was adjusted within the Groups revenue and EBITDA numbers.

2Prior year reported adjusted EBITDA has been amended to ensure that it is presented on a consistent basis. Specifically, certain professional fees incurred in 2011 in addition to those incurred in 2012 in connection with the acquisition of, have been added back to statutory profit together with the net VAT credit in respect of the changed method of VAT recovery in 2012 and 2011.


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Trading Statement - RNS