Purplebricks Group PLC (LON:PURP), the online estate agency, said its interim results will be well ahead of forecasts after new instructions surged when the first coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown ended.
“We have seen strong levels of new instructions during the last five months, despite a slow start arising from the lockdown in May,” the group said in a trading update.
Instructions rose by 8% to 35,387 in the six months to October 31, 2020, it added, with a 20% increase since June.
As a consequence, interim underlying profits (adjusted EBITDA) will be ‘comfortably ahead’ of consensus forecasts of £3.5mln.
Cash as at the end of October 2020 was in excess of £75mln including proceeds of £35mln from the sale of the Canadian business.
In the statement, Vic Darvey, Purplebricks‘ chief executive, said: “Our growth in instructions through the period demonstrates that Purplebricks’ proposition has never been more relevant, particularly in the current market, and our strategic progress has helped us to capitalise on the pick-up in market activity.
“We expect to deliver a pleasing profit performance in the first half, but it is too early to extrapolate this out to the second half of the year given the expected end to the stamp duty holiday and the potential impact of increased COVID-19 restrictions on the housing market.“