Dec 5 Online estate agent Purplebricks Group Plc
has seen a sharp rise in six-month profit as its low
fixed-cost business model helped it weather the turmoil hitting
its bricks-and-mortar rivals since Britain voted to leave the
Purplebricks, backed by fund manager Neil Woodford, said
gross profit rose 153.6 percent to 10.4 million pounds ($13.2
million) in the six months ended Oct. 31, from 4.1 million
pounds an year earlier.
First-half revenue grew 159 percent to 18.7 million pounds,
exceeding sales reported for the whole of its previous fiscal
year, while new business increased by 108 percent, it said.
While strong demand from first-time buyers has helped
housing sales in most of Britain recover from an initial
post-Brexit dip, estate agents Countrywide and Foxtons
have issued warnings due to continued hesitancy in the
Online estate agents are putting pressure on traditional
rivals at a time of economic uncertainty thanks to their lower
costs and flat-fee business models.
Purplebricks said current trading was showing similar
year-on-year new business growth with no material slow-down from
seen after the referendum.
"Although we recognise that the UK market backdrop is tough,
we continue to have a confident outlook for the future,"
Purplebricks said in a statement on Monday.
"We have momentum, a superior, low fixed-cost flexible
business model and a strong balance sheet, which we will
leverage further in the early part of the busier spring market
so as to build on our success to date," it added.
($1 = 0.7876 pounds)
(Reporting by Esha Vaish in Bengaluru, editing by Louise