Cupid Records First Half Losses


Dating firm Cupid has recorded a pre-tax loss of £2.8m in the first half of the year.

Although revenue saw a 12.4% rise, from £38.6m to £43.4m, Cupid cited an increase in marketing and administrative spending as explanation for the figures.

The group owns such sites as,, and

They also cited “distractions” as having an effect – referring to media accusations that the company created fake profiles to lure members to the site.

A review by KPMG cleared the Edinburgh-based company of these allegations.

Bill Dobbie, Chief Executive of Cupid plc, said: “The first half of 2013 has undoubtedly been a challenging period for Cupid, but we emerge from that period with renewed focus and a more tightly defined strategy.  

“Our business model and operating practices were criticised publicly and, as was later categorically proven by an independent review (announced 1 July 2013), without substance.  

“This was a deeply frustrating experience, but the business has gained strength from it. However, this, coupled with the work required to achieve the successful disposal of our casual assets, was a significant drain on the resources of our management team.”

In the first half of the year the company increased their marketing spending by 18% to £27.4m, and their admin expenses by almost 60% to £4m.

The company sold its “casual” dating sites, such as and, to one of its co-founders, Max Polyakov, for £45.1m in July.

Cupid’s report says this happened after the half-year time period and “substantial gains” resulting from the sale would be reflected in the second half of the year. 

The company remains positive for the rest of 2013, saying: “We have had a number of distractions in the first half of 2013, however, we have commenced a streamlining and refocusing of the business, which will provide us with an excellent opportunity going forward to take more of the opportunities the sector has to offer.”

Following the sale of the “casual” sites to Grendall Investment Ltd, the company plans to move forward with a “strong, principled business with good long term financial merits.”

In the future they will be focussing less on online affiliate-based marketing and more on offline marketing, PR and SEO.