Persimmon sales up 38 per cent

24-08-2006

Persimmon, the UK's largest house builder, has reported a 38 per cent rise in half-year-sales.

In a trading update, the company said that like-for-like sales reservations to date had risen by around seven per cent, while turnover is expected to be more than £1.5 billion compared to £1.09 billion a year ago.

The group said that total sales revenue to date was £2.4 billion, up from £1.78 billion from the first half of 2005.

Persimmon added that it had made 8,000 legal completions during the six months to June 30th, with the average selling price up 34 per cent to £188,000.

The construction company, which acquired smaller rival Westbury in January, said that while its margins had been "diluted" by the takeover, it expected its performance to improve in future months.

The firm confirmed that it currently has a landbank of around 78,000 plots, following the acquisition of several land assets, including through its merger with Westbury.

Persimmon said that the housing market continued to be active, although the company expects to see a modest increase in building costs this year as a result of price inflation.

"We have made good progress during the period and are in a strong position to move forward," said Persimmon in a statement ahead of full half-year results, which will be announced on August 22nd.

"Debt levels have been reduced in advance of our plans, we now have the appropriate level of work in progress and land investment, and with our healthy forward order book are on track to deliver further growth during 2006 in line with existing expectations," the company added.


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