Moonpig has welcomed a rise in sales and profits in the first half of the year, as the group continued to focus on technology advancements over the period.\r\n\r\nRevenues returned to growth and rose by 6.5% to \u00a3152.1m, while profit-before-tax was \u00a320.8m, up from \u00a318.9m the prior year.\u00a0\r\n\r\nMeanwhile, adjusted EBITDA rose to \u00a341.4m, up from \u00a334.6m, which was said to reflect improved gross margin rate and \u201cdisciplined\u201d cost control.\r\n\r\nThe group said its overall trading performance was underpinned by the Moonpig brand, whose revenues grew by 4.9% as it \u201cconsistently delivered growth\u201d in recent months. However, revenues at the Netherlands-based Greetz fell by 9.8% over the period.\r\n\r\nAccording to the group, Moonpig revenues were bolstered by a continued focus on technology innovation, including new features to drive order frequency. Nearly four million customers used its card creativity features, including video and audio messages and AI-driven customised messages, as the group made a \u201csignificant\u201d upgrade to its AI capabilities, which now incorporate customer-level data alongside data from card personalisation into gift recommendation algorithms.\r\n\r\nThe group said it was also \u201cencouraging traction\u201d with Moonpig Plus subscriptions which drove \u201cconsistently higher\u201d customer order frequency.\r\n\r\nAccording to the group\u2019s latest update, current trading remains in line with its overall expectations, and revenue growth in recent weeks has \u201ccontinued the positive trends seen in the first half, underpinned by growth at the Moonpig brand\u201d.\u00a0\r\n\r\nIt noted that whilst the macroeconomic environment remains challenging, its expectations for full year consolidated revenue and adjusted EBITDA are unchanged.\u00a0\r\n\r\nNickyl Raithatha, CEO, said: "We are pleased to report year-on-year growth in both revenue and profit despite the challenging macroeconomic environment, marking the group's return to revenue growth. Our focus on technology is driving this growth, underpinned by our resilient, profitable and cash generative business model, leveraging our unique use of data to drive customer loyalty.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe continue to innovate to attract and retain our loyal customers. During the period nearly four million customers used our innovative card creativity features such as audio and video messages, AI-generated text suggestions, stickers, flexible photos and digital gifting solutions. As the clear online leader in greetings cards, we remain well positioned to benefit from the long-term structural market shift to online."