Group Gains 10%


LONDON -- Shares in Group (LSE: MONY) climbed 9.8% in early morning trade, lifting 15.50 pence to 173.80 pence at the time of writing, following the market leader's post-close trading statement.

Boosted by the September 2012 acquisition of, fourth-quarter revenues were up 18% compared to the same time last year. contributed approximately 1.8 million pounds of revenues from providers other than, and 2.8 million pounds of adjusted EBITDA to the Group in 2012. Excluding, revenues increased by around 14%, and EBITDA was more than 30% ahead of Q4 2011.

Full-year adjusted revenues are expected to increase 15% to £204.5m, compared to last year's figure of 178.5 million pounds. Meanwhile, adjusted EBITDA is forecast to climb 26% on 2011's 52.6 million pounds, coming in at around 66 million pounds.

The company stated that it offset a lower demand for comparison of savings products in the Money division by improving trading in Insurance, Home Services and Travel. It also highlighted that there was lower competition among banks for retail deposits due to the impact of the Bank of England's "Funding for Lending" scheme.

Following the acquisition of, is a clear market leader in the field of comparison sites, and today's rise in share price suggests that it's well regarded by investors, too -- indeed, the company ended the year with cash balances of 17.7 million pounds and no debt, having repaid all of the debt associated with the acquisition. Whether you feel these factors add together to make a promising investment is, of course, your decision.'s shares traded on a low of 34.5 pence in 2009, but since then, have risen year on year to reach its peak today. Investors who bought in at that price five years ago are now sitting on five-fold gains!

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