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GoCompare moves into mortgage market

Price comparison site GoCompare, known for its opera-singing mascot, moved away from its bread-and-butter insurance offering today by taking a stake in digital mortgage firm Mortgage Gym.

Shares rose 5.25p, or 5%, to 109p after the company, spun out of insurer eSure last year, said it will back the new venture alongside credit-checker Experian.

Mortgage Gym is a robo-advice site that will allow UK homebuyers to complete a mortgage application online in 15 minutes.

“Our investment in Mortgage Gym is an exciting opportunity to work with an innovative business that is well aligned to our mission of helping people everywhere save time and money,” said chief executive Matthew Crummack.

The deal comes on the back of another with Haymarket Media that is designed to push GoCompare’s car comparison service to motorists via Haymarket motor brands such as Autocar.

Better margins on advertising and marketing helped the company grow operating profits by 22% to £17.5 million for the six months ending June.

Debts were also down, falling from 2.8 times earnings at the time of the demerger last year to 1.5 times toda