Purplebricks revenues hit by Covid but CEO says it’s “out of the woods”

Vic Darvey claims sale of Canadian business and rising profitability will make 2021 a breakthrough year for the hybrid estate agency.


Purplebricks has recovered from the pandemic lockdown strongly but both revenue and profits slipped during the six Covid-hit months its results cover, the company’s half year results reveal.

The hybrid estate agency says it is also continuing to field test new pricing models and ‘market segments’ and will continue to do so next year.

Revenue dropped by 6% to £42 million, gross profit dropped by 1% to 29.6 million but overall Purplebricks’ financial position is improving and it moved from an operating loss during the same period last year to a  £6.9 million profit, helped by the sale of its Canadian business for £35 million in July.

And the strong revival of the housing market following the May re-opening pushed its instructions up by 8% to 35,387 for the period, and its average revenue per instruction up by 3% to £1,392.

But although it’s the leading hybrid agency by a long chalk, Purplebricks has yet to crack the 5% market share barrier, which is CEO Vic Darvey (pictured) has said in the past is a major yardstick for his success.

Link to Purplebricks news“As we move into the second half of the year, we strongly believe that technology-led estate agency is continuing to emerge as the winning model,” he says.

“I am proud of the way we responded to the COVID-19 crisis, which demonstrated our ability to deliver our improved virtual capabilities to our customers throughout the period.

“We made sure we looked after our people when things got tough, we adapted quickly to new ways of working, and we enhanced our technology to make it easier and safer for customers to do business with us.”

Industry commentator Anthony Codling of Twindig says: “Purplebricks are riding the wave of the buoyant UK housing market. As ever, the key missing metric is how many homes have been sold, but with up-front fee models, you pay your money and takes your choice.  Let’s hope that those looking to meet the stamp duty holiday deadline have made the right choice.”

One Comment

  1. Actually the amount of instructions, sales, exchanges and withdrawals is very much in the public domain so not sure why Mr C feels it is a big secret. He may also be surprised to know that Purplebricks will probably list more property than Countrywide PLC, Connells and Sequence all added together in 2020, which makes them the consumers number one brand, if market share is segmented against brand alone.

    Obviously, with 1.1M completions a year, 60,000 instructions netting down to a lower figure of completions is not in itself a dominating force, but does show underlying adoption by the property consumer. Agents may rage, but maybe time to look at what tech savvy consumer is doing – to do otherwise is to own Woolies or the Arcadia Group.

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