Belfast Telegraph

Purplebricks builds on growing popularity of online estate agents

Online estate agent Purplebricks has seen sales increase fourfold over the year as Britons continue to shun high street agencies.

Revenues rose 448% to £18.6 million at the Neil Woodford-backed firm as it sold and completed £2.8 billion worth of property. Losses ballooned from £5.4 million to £10.5 million, but Purplebricks said it will turn a profit by next year.

The company also said it will expand into Australia, where chief executive Michael Bruce hopes to tap a £3.3 billion market.

Mr Bruce said: "In just our second full year of operation we are leading change in an industry that has long been stagnant and is only now waking up to the opportunities and threats posed by technological advance and changing consumer behaviour.

"While others are following, we have retained our leading position, with 62% of the non-traditional estate agency market and look to replicate this success in Australia."

Website visits at the Aim-listed firm rose by 208% to more than 1.23 million per month in the last 12 months.

Ian Osburn, analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald, said: "We predict sustained rapid growth. Purplebricks has been outgrowing online peers, the company can sustain significant growth for years. International markets offer further opportunities. We think Purplebricks prospects are strong and maintain our buy recommendation."

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