After weeks of speculation, Purplebricks Australia has announced its intention to exit the Australian Market.
Michael Bruce, the Group’s Founder and CEO is stepping down from the business with immediate effect.
Vic Darvey, previously Purplebricks COO, has been promoted to the role of Chief Executive Officer effective immediately.
A statement from the new CEO regarding the Australian exit says:
“After much consideration, we have made the difficult decision to close the Australian business. We’ve been operating here for two and a half years and, unfortunately, we have been unable to make the progress in the Australian market that we’ve wanted, despite the tireless efforts of our employees.
“Our present intention is that, over the next few months, we manage the process of closing down the Australian business in an orderly way, attempting to minimise disruption for both our people and our customers.
“We will take no further listings in Australia, but intend to engage with our customers to finalise all existing agreements.
“This is not a decision we have taken lightly, but with market conditions becoming increasingly challenging, we do not believe that the prospective returns in Australia are enough to justify continued investment.
With market conditions becoming increasingly challenging over the past two and a half years, the company also admitted to some execution errors, which has resulted in the business not delivering the progress the board expected.
In the UK, the company remains confident about the future of the business, while in the US the board has “materially cut investment in marketing and overheads to reduce expenditure to sustainable levels.”
Mr Darvey also said that there was a clear understanding within the company of the levers available to achieve growth.
“We have two outstanding businesses in the UK and Canada, both of which enjoy market-leading positions.
“We have also made significant progress in the US building a disruptive brand in the Real Estate market and our proposed strategic review will allow us to determine how we deliver the next phase of growth in a more effective and cost efficient way.
“We look forward to reporting our results on 3 July 2019 for the year ended 30 April 2019.”