Persimmon bucks the gloom to deliver a surge in earnings

 
Kasmira Jefford
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PERSIMMON reported a surge in half year profits yesterday as it focused on selling higher priced family homes in more affluent areas of the country, but warned that mortgage conditions for homebuyers remained tough.

The UK’s largest housebuilder by market value said pre-tax profits rose 65 per cent to £98.7m in the six months to the end of June, while revenues rose by 13 per cent to £806.7m.

The firm’s strong results were underpinned by a seven per cent rise in average selling prices to £171,206 with completions up six per cent to 4,712.

“We anticipate continued firm underlying demand for new homes but this will remain constrained by the low level of mortgage availability,” chairman Nicholas Wrigley said. He added that the FirstBuy scheme had also enjoyed strong demand.

The group recently embarked on a plan to return of £1.9bn to shareholders over the next nine years.