Cupid – eurozone crisis fails to stop continent’s love life

Internet dating firm Cupid yesterday said Europeans showed no signs of losing their appetite for “fun and love” amid the economic turmoil, keeping its rapid international expansion on track.


The Edinburgh-based company, which has built up a string of dating websites in 15 countries, signalled yesterday that its buying spree was likely to continue into next year while it will invest more than ever in marketing.


In a trading update, the owner of sites such as Flirt and Planet Sappho, said it was confident that its 2011 financial performance would be in line with City hopes. Analysts at Peel Hunt believe profits before tax and other deductions will reach £11 million this year, up from £5.6m in 2010, and should hit £20m by 2013.


Cupid said it was replicating last year’s strategy for growth by substantially increasing its online marketing spend during the second half of the year. It hopes the investment will underpin growth in revenue and profits in 2012 and beyond.


Chief executive Bill Dobbie said the firm was spending about £30m on advertising this year – more than half of estimated revenues. He said the figure would be “considerably” higher in 2012, all funded from cashflow as the company’s turnover grows.


“Marketing is the key expense,” he said. “People either find a partner or move on so you have to find new customers all the time.”


Cupid mainly advertises online but Dobbie said that adverts direct to mobile phones was a rapidly growing area.

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