Purplebricks, the Neil Woodford-backed property company, sees its revenues and profits soar up 814 per cent

Madeline Ratcliffe
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Purplebricks, the hybrid online estate agent which floated on AIM in December, has announced interim results for the six months ending October this morning.

The figures

Gross profits rocketed up 814 per cent, to £4.1m from £400,000 the year.

Revenues were up to £7.2m, from £800,000 his time the year before, a 777 per cent increase.

Despite this the company, which was only founded in April 2014, made a bigger loss this year, £6.4m, down from £2.5m in the first half of the 2015 financial year.

Marketing spend increased from £1.1m to £6.6m.

Its profit margins rose to 56.4 per cent from 54.1 per cent.

Trading in the second half of the financial year has started well: in January there was a 275 per cent year on year increase in the number of customers using their services.

Why it's interesting

Purplebricks is less than two years' old and floated on AIM, London's junior market, on 17 December last year.

Its share price is currently down from its IPO price of 100p a share, at 75.69p, although trading up 0.92 per cent on the day.

The group has increased its online market share from 43 per cent in April 2015 to 60 per cent as of 31 October.

Purplebricks said: "The strength of trading has resulted in the decision to accelerate the recruitment of local property experts, with a view to doubling their number by April 2017." Local property experts act as local advisers to clients looking on the website, providing a face to face service.

Neil Woodford's Woodford Investment Fund and Woodford Patient Capital Trust, owns the largest single stake in the company, controlling 28.68 per cent of the shares through Nortrurst Nominees.

What Purplebricks said

Founder and chief executive Michael Bruce, said:

We have made great progress across the business in the last six months, culminating in our listing on the AIM market in December. The money raised will be used to deepen our national coverage through the recruitment of top quality local property experts and further investment in technology and marketing. This will build on our position as the number one next generation estate agent.

As a newly listed company, our focus is on executing the strategy in order to generate attractive returns for all our shareholders. I am pleased with the progress to date and I am confident that we can build a substantial share in this market.”

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