Brexit effect ‘too early to judge’, says confident Persimmon

PersimmonHousebuilder Persimmon has said it remains too soon to judge the effect that the result of the EU Referendum will have on the UK new homes market as the firm reported strong first half trading.

In a trading update to the city this morning the Group said that “market fundamentals remain strong, supported by long term unfulfilled demand”.

The firm said the number of completions rose 6 per cent to 7,238 in the period, and it was “confident” about its prospects.

Group revenues rose 12 per cent to £1.49 billion.

Persimmon’s share price has dropped by almost a third since the UK’s vote to leave the EU, in line with falls across the rest of the property sector.

Though the firm added: “The UK housing market will continue to provide good opportunities for those companies with the right strategic focus and the balance sheet strength to navigate future changes in trading conditions.

“We believe our focus on building traditional family housing in attractive locations for all purchasers from first time buyers to home movers will continue to attract customers in good numbers.

“The Group remains committed to building the new homes across the country that Britain needs.”

Persimmon expects the first half operating margin will be ahead of the 23.0 per cent delivered in the second half of 2015 while construction is expected to start on 100 new sites during the rest of this year.

The Group has acquired 7,100 new plots of land across 38 new outlets during the first half of the year at a cost of £305m.

Persimmon is also on track to return funds to shareholders with a target of £9.00 per share by the end of 2021.

The housebuilder will announce half year results on Tuesday 23 August 2016.

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