Persimmon in bullish mood as sales surge

 
City A.M. Reporter
HOUSEBUILDER Persimmon yesterday 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, which is led by chief executive Mike Farley, said it completed 9,384 homes in the year ended 31 December, against 8,976 last year. Average prices rose six per cent to £167,000, lifting turnover by 10 per cent to £1.57bn.

Analysts expect an underlying pre-tax 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 also added that its current chairman and former chief executive John White will step down in April. He will be replaced by Nicholas Wrigley, who is currently executive vice chairman at investment bank Rothschild.