iSelect gets pummelled as half-year loss blows out by 367 per cent
Shares in comparisons website iSelect dropped 6 per cent this morning after its half-year financials showed it made a loss of nearly $7 million, 367 per cent worse than the 2018 half-year.
iSelect (ASX:ISU), which operates websites comparing insurance, financial, energy and internet policies for consumers, put out a confusing series of announcements this morning.
The first showed a loss of $6.9 million, down from a $1.5m loss at the 2018 half-year, and revenue of $74.3 million, down 8 per cent.
But that was followed by an upbeat press release on the figures trumpeting a “return to profitable growth”. The company pointed to underlying earnings before interest and tax of $6.2m, which was up 80 per cent year-on-year.
It also flagged government reforms “impacting the private health insurance sector” due in the coming months, but said it was “well-prepared” to assist customers through the changes.
Brodie Arnhold, iSelect CEO, was buoyant about the results and said increased investment in marketing would drive further growth in the second half.
“Our FY19 priority to focus on core business is generating operating results slightly better than we expected,” he said.
“The underlying resilience of our business model and customer value proposition can clearly be seen in these half year results, the first since the start of our business reset aimed on customer ease, core operations and giving customers information, services and choice that delivers real value to them.”
“Our marketing spend has now been rebalanced, with an increase in higher quality, higher value customer leads and a step change in marketing ROI. Our team’s focus on efficient, targeted marketing spend will provide a strong platform for continued growth.”