Online estate agency Purplebricks (PURP) ticks up 0.4% to 131.8p on an in-line set of full year numbers, accompanied by news of its launch in Australia.

A little heat has come out of the share price in recent weeks but the company has still enjoyed an excellent debut since it floated on AIM in December at 100p.

Results for the year to 30 April reveal £18.6 million in sales, up 448% year-on-year, £10.6 million gross profit and £13 million in marketing spend.

This marketing spend, coupled with the cost of the IPO and administrative expenses, sees a widened pre-tax loss of £11.9 million compared with £5.4 million in the April 2015 financial year.

Significantly the company continues to add to its roster of local property experts (LPE) with more than 225 on the books by the end of June.

These individuals are key to the company’s growth as they support sales through its website.

By pursuing this strategy, it aims to undercut traditional agents while still offering a personalised service. In research published around the turn of the year research house Hardman reckoned the company needed 250 LPEs to reach break-even.

House broker Cantor Fitzgerald, which has a buy recommendation and 220p price target, says the company is hitting its growth expectations and will be profitable in the current financial year.

The company has signed up an Australian management team as it looks to address the £3.3 billion market Down Under, with this venture expected to cost £10 million over the next two years.

As we reported here rivals, such as Savills (SVS) and Countrywide (CWD), appear to be imitating the hybrid approach in the UK but Cantor analyst Ian Osburn says: ‘We take this as validation of the PB business model and believe it has a significant lead in the market.’

Issue Date: 16 Jun 2016