Belfast Telegraph

Purplebricks revenue soars 150% on UK business boost

The company reported a 118% jump in UK revenues to £39.9 million.

Online estate agent Purplebricks has raised its UK guidance after investment in its British operations helped drive six month revenues up a whopping 150%.

The company said group revenue rocketed to £46.8 million for the six months to October 31, up from £18.7 million a year earlier.

That figure which was driven by a 118% jump in UK revenues for the period to £39.9 million after having “sold and completed” on £4.6 billion worth of property. The company added that a further £3.8 billion in property was in the pipeline.

Purplebricks has been investing in its so-called “local property expert” estate agent team which grew 107% from the same period last year to around 650 staff, while its lettings expert team grew 287% to 58 employees in the UK.

Meanwhile, its online market share in the UK increased to 74%, with the company saying that further investments in its infrastructure and employee base this year will help the British division “capitalise on momentum”.

Purplebricks has now raised its full year revenue guidance for the UK by 5% to £84 million.

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Purplebricks

But higher administrative expenses bit into pre-tax profits, with losses widening for the period from £6 million to £8 million.

The estate agent has been moving forward with Australian expansion plans and successfully launched its US business in September ahead of schedule.

Chief executive Michael Bruce said the overseas expansion was “progressing well.”

“We have had a great first half, with strong trading, significant strategic progress and substantial operational upgrades.

“The UK business continues its rapid top line growth, which is driving a strong increase in profits and margin expansion.

“We continue to win UK market share from traditional operators in what is a challenging market and consolidate our leading position with competing digital and hybrid offerings.”

Investors were less enthused, sending Purplebricks shares were down more than 7% in morning trading at 368p.

“The operating statistics reported today look impressive, although despite the sparkle we still cannot see how many customers have actually been able to sell their homes after paying Purplebricks an average of £1,138 (ex VAT),” a note led by Jefferies equity analyst Anthony Codling said.

There are also questions being raised over the company’s rapid international expansion.

“Australia and US are apparently doing very well and ahead of plan.

“However, it is early days for both and we would like to see the UK model proven before too much attention is given to these additional continents,” Mr Codling added.

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