News Column

Cupid Expects Smaller Loss In First Half Than Previously Expected

June 20, 2014

Rowena Harris-Doughty



LONDON (Alliance News) - Online dating operator Cupid PLC Friday said it now expects a smaller than previously anticipated loss for the first half of the year, as it continued to manage costs tightly.


In a statement to shareholders ahead of its annual general meeting Friday, the company said it has made significant progress in the first half of the year, and its now expecting a earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation loss of around GBP3 million for the period, better than previously anticipated.


"The stronger EBITDA result has been achieved through the close management of costs, which in turn will enable us to end the half with around GBP11m of cash, pre-dividend," said Chairman George Elliott in the statement.


Cupid said that it expects revenues for the first half to be around GBP7 million, slightly lower than its earlier expectations. Cupid reports on the calendar year.


The dating operator swung to a loss in 2013 and saw a significant drop in revenues, as a result of selling of its casual businesses, which represented 70% of its overall revenue. The casual businesses were aimed at people who want to flirt and included the sites BeNaughty.com, Flirt.com and CheekyLovers.com.


Since then, the internet dating company recently has commenced plans to restructure the business, having outlined a three-year strategic plan back in April, when it said it expected a positive run rate for profits when it enters 2015.


"The past twelve months have been challenging, but we believe that Cupid has a bright future," Elliott said. "Much work has been carried out in the past six months to drive a successful turnaround of the core dating business, and the board is confident that it is making significant steps towards our long-term vision."


Cupid said it launched a number of new or updated versions of its websites in the second quarter of the year, including Cupid.com, Uniformdating.com, and its brand new brand Lovebeginsat.com.


"We continue to develop our core offering and will address this development in our on-going strategy. As planned we have started to invest in our data adtech proposition and will continue with that as our plans progress to initial revenues in the second half," said Elliott.


The company said it is currently working on developing a new "mobile first" platform, which it said is progressing well and will be launched with Uniformdating for the US in the third quarter.


Cupid shares were down 1.8% Friday morning at 40.50 pence.







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Source: Alliance News


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