New figures released this morning from Purplebricks shows the onward march of the hybrid agency and its Local Property Experts.
For the year to April 30 Purplebricks’ group revenue showed a 151 per cent rise to £46.7m - far beyond its full-year 2016 total of £18.6m.
Its UK-only revenue rose 132 per cent to £43.2m. Its recruitment of LPEs is running ahead of schedule, it says, with 448 as of April this year.
UK business reports first full year operating profit and adjusted EBITDA of £1.7m - for the full year of 2016 there had been a loss of £9.7m.
Average income per instruction for the UK is up 14.8 per cent to £1,035; Purplebricks now says it has sold and completed on over £5.8 billion of UK property with a further £3.69 billion in the pipeline Sold Subject To Contract.
It claims its share of the online market has risen from 62 per cent at the end of last year to 72 per cent by the end of April; it also says the online share of the total UK house sales market is growing, although no figures have been released on that.
Purplebricks agrees sale in the UK “every nine minutes, 24/7” according to the trading statement, with website visits increasing to over 2.5m per month.
The company also describes itself as the most positively reviewed agent on Trustpilot in the UK with over 20,000 reviews.
The firm also says its Australian launch has been successful - “ahead of UK at same stage of development in terms of listings, sales, revenue, LPEs and Trustpilot” - and it confirmed a start to US activity in California as a result of raising £50m in March to fund the exercise.
"This has been a very successful year in the early development of the Purplebricks model and brand. We have materially grown our national footprint and have built a growing brand awareness and reputation for delivering customers a more convenient, transparent and cost effective service” says Michael Bruce, group chief executive.
“In tandem with our growth we have invested in the business and strengthened the management team. This has allowed us to significantly grow our number of positive reviews on the independent review site Trustpilot (currently with over 20,000). We have retained our rating of excellent. Purplebricks is now in a strong position to become the number one estate agent in the UK for both listings and sales.
“With the UK business now in profit it is encouraging to see Australia following a similar growth trajectory. Just eight months in and Purplebricks already operates in five key states, which represent 85 per cent of all Australian property transactions. The launch of our Commisery campaign in Australia from May 2017 will further accelerate progress. All of this bodes well for the US, where plans to launch, first in California, in the second half of the calendar year are progressing at pace.
In terms of outlook for the current financial year, this morning‘s trading statement says the first two months of the financial year have started well.
“To fully capitalise on this momentum and the long term market opportunity, Purplebricks is stepping up its recruitment of LPEs to meet demand and following the recent success of the additional marketing spend in the spring market, is increasing its budget for the current financial year” the statement reads.
“UK marketing spend in the first half of this financial year is now anticipated to increase by some £3.5m year-on-year, with spend in the second half also likely to rise, should the expected returns come through.
“As a result UK revenue expectations for the current year are raised to some £80m; a near doubling from the £43m reported for FY17. For Australia, our expectations remain unchanged following good progress to date, with revenues expected to reach £12m in the current year.
“While the broader macro climate is uncertain and it is early in the financial year, Purplebricks remains confident in its prospects and of meeting the board’s increased expectations.”