Persimmon beats forecasts

City A.M. Reporter
Housebuilder Persimmon said underlying pre-tax profit for 2010 will be at the top end of market views, despite bad weather knocking sales before Christmas.

The UK's largest homebuilder by market value said it completed 9,384 homes in the year to 31 December, against 8,976 last year.

Prices rose by six per cent to 167,000 pounds, lifting turnover by ten per cent to £1.57bn.

Analysts are expecting an underlying pretax profit of £85m for 2010 according to a poll of 21 analysts compiled by the company.

House prices fell in four out of the last six months, rising slightly in December, but activity was knocked by bad weather in the month.

Persimmon said in a separate statement on Monday that chairman and former chief executive John White will step down in April, with Nicholas Wrigley to replace him.