In its latest Trading
Update Purplebricks plc said that it would be exiting the Australian market and
that Michael Bruce, the Group’s Founder and CEO, is stepping down from the
business with immediate effect.
On the Australia operation the statement said: “During
the two and a half years that Purplebricks has been operating in Australia,
market conditions have become increasingly challenging. This, combined with
some execution errors, has resulted in the business not delivering the progress
the Board expected.”
Paul Pindar, Non Executive
Chairman, added: “With hindsight, our rate of geographic expansion was too
rapid and as a result the quality of execution has suffered. We have also made
sub-optimal decisions in allocating capital. We will learn from these errors
and will not make them again.”
The company added that group revenue for the last financial year would be within the £130-140m range previously anticipated. It added that Purplebricks’ Board had confidence in its UK and Canada operations, but that a strategic review would be conducted of the US business.
While the closure of poorly-performing Purplebricks Australia will not come as too much of a surprise to most the departure of Michael Bruce will – many will be waiting eagerly to see if more details emerge as to the reasons why.