quidco have recently filed their financial results to 31/7/2012, which may be of interest to imutual shareholders as it gives an idea of the market potential for our company
I posted details of earlier results for quidco and tcb here
. The latest quidco accounts are as follows (figures in brackets are for the previous year):
Cost of sales £46,360,509 (£37,956,412)
Gross profit £8,855,747
Admin expenses £5,298,963 (£3,682,468)
Operating profit £3,556,784 (£1,832,813)
Interest £28,704 (£22,223)
Pre-tax profit £3,585,488
I think they are to be congratulated on a great set of results for their shareholders. But I do think this illustrates that there is a gap in the market for a money-saving company where the customers and shareholders are one and the same and therefore have the same interests
Quidco and tcb have established the phrase "100% cashback site" (and, as a result, we've been obliged to use the same phrase). But, of course, no company (not even imutual) passes on on ALL of its revenue to customers - it needs to cover its running costs and generate profits for shareholders. In the case of quidco, you'll notice that in just the 12 months in question there was a difference of nearly 9 million pounds between the revenue they received and what they paid out to members in cashback
(assuming that "cost of sales" purely relates to cashback paid out). In contrast, imutual's entire running costs last year were less than £40k
Given that, until recently, "the UK's no 1 cashback site" charged £5 for the privilege of membership (and many members are still locked into that charge for up to 12 months), their members might be entitled to ask questions about this £9m 'gap'.
Especially given that imutual now offers better rates than quidco at over 85% of its merchants
The picture is similar at "The UK's most generous cashback site", where the last 3 set of accounts show a difference of nearly £5.5m between income and cashback to members. Not my definition of "generous"...
I don't deny that both quidco and tcb offer some great deals to members. The question is, would they be even more generous if their members could hold them to account in the same way that imutual members can? And if the answer is "yes", then doesn't that make a case for supporting the imutual model - and that by helping us to achieve a similar size to the "big two" you could benefit from even better cashback deals in the long run? Not to mention having part-ownership of what would then be a very valuable company