Egg, the fund supermarket and Internet bank owned by the Prudential, is no longer losing money. In the first quarter of this year it recorded a pre-tax profit of 4.1 million, against a loss of 37.2 million for the same period last year. “Our core UK business has delivered its first full quarter of profits,” says Egg CEO Paul Gratton.
Operating income has increased to 73.7 million in the quarter, more than double the previous year. The company attracted 157,000 net new customers in the period, taking the total to 2.1 million. “With revenues growing strongly and costs remaining tightly controlled, we are sustainably profitable in the UK,” says Gratton.
Credit cards, rather than fund sales or bank accounts, are the main engine of growth. The number of Egg credit card holders now exceeds 1.5 million. Of total assets of 8.8 billion (Q1 2001: 7.8 billion) credit card balances account for 1.9 billion (Q1 2001: 1.3 billion).
Egg will launch in France this year. Earlier this year, it paid 23.5 million for Ze Bank, an on-line financial supermarket in France. “The Egg brand identity and website have recently been updated and refreshed to reflect the development and aspiration of Egg as a global brand,” explains Gratton. “This early move positions us well for our launch in France, plans for which remain on track for later this year.”