22.02.2019 at 21:00
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Purplebricks Loses National Leaders Amid Revenue Downgrade

Purplebricks announces the departure of the heads of both US and UK.

Thursday morning, Purplebricks plc released a statement downgrading its revenue expectations for the 2018/2019 fiscal year.

As a result, its stock on the London Stock Exchange abruptly dropped by 40 per cent. It rebounded later, but it was still down 24% by the end of trading.

They also announced that not only the leader of Purplebricks UK, Lee Wainright, is leaving but also the US CEO, Eric Eckardt.

It is difficult to believe the revenue downgrade and the simultaneous exodus of 2 big company heads are simply coincidental.

The statement said Wainwright was leaving for personal reasons, which may be so.

But it also seemed to be deliberately worded to evade giving any reason for Eckardt's departure.

The statement also mentioned "headwinds" in the Australian market, and that for Australia the "amount of recognisable revenue would not be sufficient to meet expectations for this financial year."

Wainwright will be replaced by Vic Darvey, the Group COO for Purplebricks.

The Group CEO, and one of the founders of Purplebricks, Michael Bruce, will be overseeing the US operation. His statement remained positive:

"Although there are macro and industry headwinds across markets we are well placed to capitalise on the significant opportunity for growth that exists in each country, albeit not entirely as we would have wanted before our year-end.

"The UK is leading the way with continued profitable growth and a strategy to deliver greater success.

"The team in Australia are building on the changes they implemented late last year and Canada is delivering on plan and expectations.

"The Board remains confident of the long-term growth potential of the business and the opportunity to deliver substantial value for shareholders."

But we've been hearing this positive rhetoric for a long time now, regardless of what the actual numbers are doing.

We learned that in the US, Purplebricks had also recently adopted a "payment on completion model" so at least in that respect it is similar to Australia.

PropertyNerd recently received a report — so far unsubstantiated — that internal strife remains rampant in Purplebricks Australia, and that the company is still internally "in disarray".

At this point we are unsure, but we may have more to report on that in future.


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