Purplebricks fights off attempt to remove chairman

Rebel shareholders of estate agency Purplebricks (LON: PURP) have failed to unseat chairman Paul Pindar, who was supported by 71.7% of the votes. Management recognises the past underperformance and believes that progress will be evident by the time of the full year figures.

The rebel shareholders also failed to get Harry Hill appointed to the board of the AIM-quoted company at the general meeting, although this resolution was supported by 41.8% of the votes cast.

Purplebricks has reduced its cost base by £17m. The plan is to reach operational cash generation by April 2024.

In the six months to October 2022, revenues fell from £41.3m to £34.5m and the reported pre-tax loss increased from £12.9m to £14.6m. However, if exceptional costs are excluded the loss would have nearly trebled to £13.3m. That was despite much lower marketing spending.

Broker Zeus forecasts flat full year revenues of £70m and an underlying pre-tax loss of £19.8m. In 2023-24, a loss of £4.5m is anticipated following the full benefit of cost reductions.

Cash is expected to be £24.6m at the end of April 2023 and then rise to £27.4m at the end of April 2024, helped by deferred income not yet recognised in the income statement. NAV is expected to be down to £17.2m by that date.

At 9.65p, Purplebricks is valued at £30m.

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Andrew Hore is the publisher of AIM Journal, which is an online monthly publication covering the Alternative Investment Market.