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Purplebricks to exit U.S. market, posts loss

Purplebricks Group PLC (PURP.LN) said Wednesday that it plans to exit the U.S. market to focus on the U.K. and on Canada, as it reported a widened pretax loss for fiscal 2019.

The online estate agency, which had recently said it plans to leave the Australia market, said it would be premature to consider returning capital to investors at this time as the board focuses resources on the group. Purplebricks said its board will consider a progressive dividend policy in future years.

For the year ended April 30, Purplebricks made a pretax loss of 56 million pounds ($70.4 million) compared with a loss of GBP29.2 million a year earlier. The loss mainly reflects higher costs.

Revenue for the year rose to GBP136.5 million compared with GBP87.8 million in fiscal 2018.

Purplebricks said the decision to exit the U.S. market through either a sale or closure was made given the lower than expected revenues generated from the region. The board started a review in May and appointed Phil Felice as interim chief executive officer to oversee options.

The company said that despite the challenging conditions in the U.K. due to the current economic and political uncertainty the board is excited by the prospects for the U.K. and Canadian businesses in fiscal 2020 and beyond.

Write to Ian Walker at

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