Google Compare made £9.4m loss last year

Google has recorded a loss on its insurance price comparison site, Google Compare.

According to results filed at Companies House, the search engine giant made a £9.4m loss after tax on turnover of £7.4m in the year to 31 December 2013.

Its £7.4m turnover is dwarfed by that of aggregator giants, Go Compare and Moneysupermarket (see chart, below).

Google Compare’s cost of sales more than doubled to £9.5m, driven by advertising costs it paid to Google’s commercial unit. That excluded the cost of staff, which Google accounted for separately. Google Compare employs no staff directly but paid another company in the group £7.8m for payroll costs.

The result was a pre-tax loss of £12.6m, the same as in 2012, to which Google applied an income tax credit of £3.2m, bringing down its total post-tax loss to £9.4m.

However the directors said they were confident “that the product offerings and intended expansion of the company are of strategic importance and will yield commercial success through a more positive customer experience.

“In addition, the company has adequate support from the parent company to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future.”

Turnover increased by 33% last year. Google attributed the £1.8m boost to a full year’s activity of Compare branded products, which launched at the end of 2012.

Google entered the insurance price comparison market when it bought for £37.7m in 2011.