Comparethemarket.com and other comparison websites may be the “enemy” of the insurance broker but there’s no denying the ability of their TV commercials to implant themselves into our heads. That’s why it was perhaps so “simples” for BGL Group, the name behind the comparison giant, to rack up record profits and revenue in the first half of this year.
The financial services giant, which also owns brands LesFurets.com and Beaglestreet.com, recorded revenue of £660.9 million, up 13%, in the period ending June 30, 2018. Underlying profit before tax was up 16% to stand at £146.9 million. Customer numbers across the group, meanwhile, climbed 12% to reach 9.5 million.
At the heart of the success, unsurprisingly, was the Comparethemarket.com brand which saw customer numbers climb by over one million this year – a rise that has been largely attributed to its Meerkat Movies campaign. Meanwhile, at group level, the year was notable for the announcement in November last year that Canada Pension Plan Investment Board had signed an agreement to invest £675 million for a 30% stake in the firm – that move was completed in April this year.
“By helping people compare, switch and save across an ever broader range of products in our price comparison division and continuing to develop our digital customer proposition, we’ve gained additional customers this year, supporting the delivery of another record set of results in terms of profit and revenue,” said chief executive Matthew Donaldson. “Our insurance, distribution and outsourcing division has had a good year, strengthening our multi-channel offering for customers in an increasingly digital marketplace, and with a step change in the growth of our life business.
“It’s been a milestone year for the group as a whole, marked by significant investment from CPPIB demonstrating confidence in our growth potential. By investing in our people, including through our newly launched BGL Academy, and in technology through our digital innovation agenda, we are building a strong foundation for the future of all our businesses.”