September 24, 2013 / 6:53 AM / 7 years ago

Internet dating company Cupid swings to first-half loss

Sept 24 (Reuters) - Internet dating company Cupid Plc swung to a first-half loss, hit by higher marketing and administrative costs.

Adjusted pretax loss for the six months ended June 30 was 2.5 million pounds ($4.01 million), from a profit of 3.5 million pounds a year earlier. Revenue rose 12.4 percent to 43.4 million pounds.

“We have had a number of distractions in the first half of 2013... the remainder of 2013 will be a transitional period as we complete the separation of the divested casual assets and reshape our continuing business for the future,” said Chief Executive Bill Dobbie.

The company said marketing spend, its largest cost, increased 18 percent to 27.4 million pounds. Administrative expenses rose nearly 60 percent to 4 million pounds.

Cupid faced media allegations earlier this year about the methods it used to encourage people to buy subscriptions. However, the company said in July that an independent review of its operations did not find any evidence of Cupid using fake profiles to boost membership.

It sold its benaughty.com, flirt.com and other “casual” dating sites to Max Polyakov’s Grendall Investment Ltd for 43.1 million pounds in July.

Cupid said it expects continuing business to return to growth and profitability in 2014.

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