Cupid eyes lower losses and sales for first half

Dating website operator Cupid told investors today that its first-half losses should be lower than expected, despite revenues falling short of its forecasts.

The Edinburgh-based firm said that “close management of costs” should help it end the first half with about £11 million in cash, before dividend payments.

Chief executive Phil Gripton said underlying pre-tax losses are estimated at £3m, which is better than the board had anticipated.

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“We further estimate that revenue for the first half will be about £7m, slightly lower than management’s expectations,” he added.

In a statement ahead of the company’s annual meeting, Gripton said the past 12 months – which saw the firm refute claims that staff posed as customers in a bid to win more subscribers – had been “challenging”.

“But we believe that Cupid has a bright future in building a digital services business based on robust core dating assets and unique first party data,” he 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.”