Belfast Telegraph

Householders changing suppliers on uSwitch boosts parent company Zoopla

Property website Zoopla upped its earnings outlook as a surge in energy provider switching continues to boost its recently-bought comparison service uSwitch.

The group hailed strong trading at its uSwitch division, with competitive gas and electricity deals driving a jump in the number of households switching their energy supplier.

Zoopla now expects full-year underlying earnings to be at the top-end of City forecasts, with the market previously pencilling in a range of £69 million to £76 million.

It comes after the group posted a 58% surge in first half profits to £22.6 million in May thanks to record revenues.

Half-year turnover rocketed 130% to £96.4 million, driven by growth in its comparison services division, which alone totted up sales of £57.7 million.

Zoopla, which bought uSwitch last year, said in its latest update: "The comparison services division continues to outperform, driven by continued competitive supplier offers and a supportive regulatory environment across the home services switching market."

Figures earlier this week from energy watchdog Ofgem revealed t he number of UK households switching their energy provider rose by 30% in the first half of the year.

More than 3.8 million switches took place between January and June as people changed their energy supplier - around a million more than the same period last year, the regulator said.

Zoopla's update also added that its property site saw ongoing growth in the number of estate agents signed up, rising 5% year-on-year to 13,275, while property listings also lifted 5% to 925,000.

Analysts at Jefferies said Zoopla was "top of the class".

"Zoopla is leading rather than following the market as it seeks to be the 'one stop shop' for the homebuyer - the Amazon of UK residential, with services ranging across property to tradesmen to utilities," they added.