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FULL-YEAR TRADING UPDATE INTERVIEWS

Steve Dinneen
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IMRAN AKRAM | COLLINS STEWART
Persimmon is the first housebuilder to report a solid trading update. Volumes were 12 per cent lower year-on-year but picked up in the second half of last year. Net debt was better than expected. Bovis and TaylorWimpey are our top picks but we continue to see upside to our target price of 520p.”

CHRIS MILLINGTON | NUMIS SECURITIES
“The group has comfortably beaten our net debt forecast and forward orders give a strong platform for the Spring selling season. We continue to regard Persimmon as one of the best housebuilders, but its premium valuation to Bellway is too large. Bellway has more financial flexibility to buy land.”

JONATHAN JACKSON | KILLIK & CO.
“The major news was the progress in debt reduction, which ended the year at £270m, well below the £475m as at 30 June 2009. While management remains cautious over mortgage availability it has continued confidence in the long-term future of the UK housing market.”