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Purplebricks trims revenue forecast on UK challenges

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Purplebricks trims revenue forecast on UK challenges
FILE PHOTO: The city of London is seen from the Broadway development site in central London, Britain, August 23, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay   -   Copyright  HANNAH MCKAY(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – British online estate agent Purplebricks Group Plc <PURP.L> trimmed the upper end of its revenue forecast for the year on Thursday, citing a challenging UK property market on the run in to the country’s planned departure from the European Union.

The company said half-year revenue jumped 75 percent and predicted its low-fee, web-driven model would continue to win market share from Britain’s big incumbent operators such as Countrywide <CWD.L> and Foxtons <FOXT.L>.

But it also said that revenue for the year was now expected to be between 165-175 million pounds, compared with its prior forecast of 165-185 million pounds.

It said that still left it trading roughly in line with a company-compiled market consensus of 171.7 million pounds.

Operating losses more than doubled to 25.6 million pounds for the six months ended Oct. 31, from 11.4 million pounds a year earlier, it said.

The company has moved into the United States and Canada and continues to invest heavily in disrupting Britain’s traditional model of high street agents with its system of local experts who provide valuations and online systems that handle property sales.

Revenue rose to 70.1 million pounds from 40.1 million pounds last year, helped by contribution from the new U.S. and Canadian businesses.

(This story removes erroneous text from the second paragraph of an earlier version)

(Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham)

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