Purplebricks told the City this morning that trading has been strong with instructions in the UK up 83% in the second half of its financial year.
Giving an update on its year, which ended on April 30, Purplebricks said that its UK business is expected to “record an adjusted EBITDA profit for the full year, building on the UK’s £0.3m reported adjusted EBITDA in the first half”.
The brief trading update does not mention how many properties Purplebricks has sold, but does refer to the recruitment of “high quality Local Property Experts” as a central element of its strategy.
As at the end of April there were 448 LPEs in the UK plus 77 in Australia.
The trading statement also refers to the number of Trustpilot reviews, at over 17,100, with the average score edging up from 9.4 to 9.5 out of ten.
It says that “with continued progress across the business the company is on course to meet the board’s full year expectations.”
CEO Michael Bruce hailed the last 12 months as a “year of great progress across the board”.
He said: “The UK business continues to go from strength to strength and the decision to increase marketing spend in the spring market has been successful. We have demonstrated that the business model works with the first expected full-year profit in the UK, while our early success in Australia highlights our ability to execute and the broad appeal of the Purplebricks customer proposition.
“US plans are progressing well . . . We are confident in our future and excited about our global opportunity.”
Purplebricks also this morning announced that its chief financial officer Neil Cartwright is stepping down due to ill health.
His successor is James Davies, most recently chief financial officer of William Hill Online.
Davies said: “Purplebricks has in just three years led permanent change in the estate agency industry. I am delighted to be joining the company at such an exciting time in its evolution.”
Sceptical analyst Anthony Codling, of Jefferies, said: “Purplebrick’s trading update focuses on listing growth with UK listings up 83% year on year, but once again no comment on how many homes are actually being sold and what appears to us to be the carefully curated Trustpilot reviews continue to improve.
“It is interesting to see that outgoing CFO Neil Cartwright is being replaced by James Davies, the former CFO of William Hill on-line. Perhaps Purplebricks should be viewed as more of a gamble than a property services firm?”