Moonpig announces plans for stock market float

Online greeting cards business Moonpig has unveiled plans for a stock market listing in a move expected to value the firm at more than £1 billion.

The group, which also owns Geetz in the Netherlands, is aiming to join London’s main market in what will mark the first significant listing of the year.

Moonpig chairwoman and former WH Smith boss Kate Swann is helping oversee the potential listing, which is being planned to help the group capitalise on the surge in demand for online cards and gifts amid the pandemic.

The firm currently has 12.2 million customers and sends 46 million cards a year but is trying to position itself as a technology business, using customer data and predictive technology.

The cards and gifts market is worth £24 billion across the UK, Netherlands and Ireland, which is rapidly switching online.

Moonpig said only around 10% of card purchases were made online in 2019, which is forecast to double to 20% by 2021.

Moonpig Group chief executive Nickyl Raithatha said: “Moonpig Group’s mission is to create moments that matter, helping people to connect by sharing meaningful cards and gifts.

“This is more important now than perhaps ever before.

“We have built a technology platform that harnesses data-science and AI at every point of our customers’ journey, making it as effortless as possible for them to be as thoughtful as possible.”

Ms Swann, chairwoman of Moonpig Group, said: “The board is confident that Moonpig Group is well positioned to capitalise on its first mover advantage in the online card market and continue its strong momentum in the gifting segment, benefit from the continued human need for connections, and cycle-resilient customer spend on gifts and cards.”

Bosses hope harvesting customer data will help remind them of birthdays and cash in on additional gifts, including flowers – it is one of the UK’s top five florists.

The move comes in the same month that rival Paperchase said it is looking at bringing in administrators due to plunging sales, putting 1,500 jobs at risk.

Moonpig by comparison has benefited from the lockdown, with families and friends turning to gifts and cards to help get through long periods without contact.

The group has a 60% share of the online cards market in the UK and a 65% share in the Netherlands.

It made underlying earnings of £44.4 million in the year to April 30 on sales of £173.1 million, up 44% year-on-year.

In the half-year to October 31, it saw sales jump 135% to £155.9 million.

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