* Acquires Cupid.com for 4.4 mln stg
* H1 pretax profit 2 mln stg vs 980,000 stg in FY 2009
LONDON, Sept 22 Online dating agency Easydate
EZDE.L said it had purchased Cupid.com for 4.4 million pounds
($6.9 million) in its first acquisition since it raised 10
million pounds through an IPO on London's AIM market in June.
Edinburgh-based Easydate, whose websites include
www.datetheuk.com and www.datingforparents.com, said it will now
pursue more earnings enhancing acquisitions and expand its
international business, which it expects will grow to become
larger than its UK operations.
Easydate acquired Cupid.com, which generated revenue of 1.3
million pounds and earnings of 500,000 pounds in 2009, from
OnTargetJobs, having previously operated Cupid.com outside the
United States and Canada under a licence arrangement.
"The company was keen to secure full ownership of the domain
both to protect its existing revenue stream and allow Easydate
to own and grown Cupid.com revenues in the USA and Canada,"
Easydate said in a statement on Wednesday.
The company, whose websites have 13 million registered users
across the world, said it expects Cupid.com to be break-even
between now and the end of the year as it ramps up marketing
spend on the business.
Easydate, formed in 2005 when Scottish entrepreneur Bill
Dobbie teamed up with software developer Max Polyakov, made a
pretax profit of 2 million pounds in the first half of 2010
compared with a 980,000 profit over the full year in 2009.
Shares in Easydate, which were placed on AIM at 60 pence per
share in June, were up 0.6 percent to 91 pence at 0708 GMT,
valuing the business at 72 million pounds.
(Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Victoria Bryan)