Cupid sells websites as ‘casual’ users want ‘adult content’

Posted: July 16, 2013

Cupid, the online dating group, has sold several of its “casual” websites to co-founder.

The division of interests was cited as the primary reason for the move, with many users of the parent website seeking content of a more adult nature. The deal allows Cupid to focus on ‘mainstream’ sites including Cupid.com, LoveAgain.com and UniformDating.com

The company has sold several websites including Benaughty.com, Flirt.com and WildBuddies for as reported £45.1m in a deal with Grendall Investment. Grendall is managed by Cupid co-founder, Max Polyakov, who still owns 15pc of Cupid. Cupid’s shares climbed 13.8 percent on Monday, closing at 82.5p.

Cupid’s chief executive, Bill Dobbie, said Monday’s deal is a “significant positive step for the group”. In a statement, his company added: “Cupid believes that in mainstream dating, customers are demanding increasingly higher quality and that this can be a rewarding area for the company to focus its efforts.

“By contrast the company believes that the casual market consumer ultimately requires the potential for more adult oriented content and that moving towards this end of the spectrum of dating is not a route that the company wishes to pursue.”

In the last tax year, these “casual” dating websites generated total sales of £51.1m and adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation of £9.7m.

Cupid saw an 18 percent rise in numbers of active users last year to a total of 19.2m. Its primary markets – the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Ireland – contribute over half its profit.

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