- Real estate agency Purplebricks swung to a first-half profit, in a sign that it's recovering from a recent rough patch that saw it beat a retreat from North America and Australia.

The company also forecast annual adjusted earnings above current market expectations.

Net profit for the six months through October amounted to £6.8 million, compared to losses of £14.1 million year-on-year, and included a gain on the sale of its Canadian business.

Revenue fell 6% to £44.2 million, though gross profit fell just 1% to £29.6 million.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation more than doubled to £8.4 million amid margin improvement.

Purplebricks had cash at 31 October of £75.8 million. It did not declare an interim dividend.

The company said its business had performed strongly in the period since a market shutdown ended, with buoyant trading supported by a strong market recovery.

Adjusted EBITDA for the full year was expected to exceed the upper end of the current consensus range, it added.

'Purplebricks has delivered a strong performance in the period with instructions up 8% and total fee income growth of 6%, despite the UK housing market being disrupted through the height of Covid-19,' chief executive Vic Darvey said.

'We are now emerging from the pandemic in a very strong competitive position.'

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