Persimmon increases profits and revenue despite Brexit ‘uncertainty’
Persimmon has unveiled a substantial jump in interim profits as it shrugged off the potential impact of post-Brexit economic uncertainty on the housing market.
The housebuilder’s profit before tax in the six months to the end of June increased 29 per cent to £352.3 million (2015: £272.8m) while revenue was up 12 per cent to £1.49 billion (2015: £1.33bn).
Legal completions increased 6 per cent to 7,238 new homes sold (2015: 6,855) - an additional 383 new homes delivered at an average selling price of £205,762, up 6 per cent from £194,378 in 2015.
A total of 7,108 plots of new land were secured in the period bringing consented land bank to 93,519 plots. Persimmon’s success in securing planning consent for its strategic land bank continued with 2,856 plots converted, 40 per cent of the new plots acquired in the period.
The company said its private sale reservation rate since 1 July was 17 per cent higher than at the same time last year.
The result of the EU referendum had “increased economic uncertainty”, it added, but since then, visitors to its sites were up 20 per cent year on year.
Jeff Fairburn, group chief executive, said: “Persimmon’s robust trading performance in the first half of 2016 was driven by our continued focus on meeting market demand to deliver controlled sustainable growth. The Group’s strong cash generation has supported further disciplined land investment embedding value for the future.
“While the result of the EU Referendum has created increased economic uncertainty, customer interest since then has been robust with visitor numbers to our sites around 20 per cent ahead year on year. Our private sale reservation rate since 1 July is currently 17 per cent ahead of the same period last year. The Group is now trading through the traditionally slower summer weeks but customer demand remains encouraging and we anticipate a good autumn sales season.
“We are confident that our long term strategic focus will continue to deliver strong returns for our shareholders.”