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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Purplebricks names July date to reveal company performance

Purplebricks has announced that it is to give a trading update and the result of its review of its US activities on July 3. 

The statement that morning will formally be covering the company’s full year results for the 12 months ended April 30, but the agency always adds a more recent update which should reflect at least the first quarter of the current trading year. 

In addition, the firm has said its review of its US business will be released on that date as well. 

One of the firm’s leading investors, beleaguered fund manager Neil Woodford, has already indicated support should the agency choose to close its US operation to concentrate on more profitable activities in the UK and Canada.

Meanwhile there has been growing criticism of the suspension of the Woodford Equity Income fund operated by Neil Woodford’s company. Although the fund is not one directly investing in Purplebricks, the negative sentiment now being expressed towards Neil Woodford himself is infecting confidence in the estate agency too.

For example, the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme business presenter Dominic O’Connell has written: “The situation has been exacerbated by Woodford's choice of investments - many of the public companies, like Kier, Circassia and Purplebricks, have turned out to be dogs.”

The Daily Mail, too, has linked Woodford’s fund problems with the poor performance on his hybrid agency investment.

The newspaper has written: “Purplebricks has been another thorn in Neil Woodford’s side. Shares in the online estate agent – where Woodford is the biggest investor with a near 29 per cent stake – are down 79 per cent since their peak less than two years ago.”

Purplebricks remained listless in trading on the London Stock Exchange yesterday, closing at 105.4p, down just under one per cent on the day.

Meanwhile the other agency share price under scrutiny at the moment - Countrywide- has yet another torrid day.

It ended down 2.7 per cent at a mere 3.60p: how much lower can it go?

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