Wednesday 18 August 2021 7:58 am

Persimmon forward sales up 9 per cent from pre-pandemic levels

Housebuilding business Persimmon reported a 64 per cent leap in profits in the six months to June 30th, posting £480.1m in earnings up from £292.4m in the same period last year.

The company expects a “good” forward sales of £2.23bn, up 9 per cent compared to £2.05bn from the same period in 2019. Forward sales are agreements between a buyer and the builder to complete the purchase and sale at a fixed date.

The housebuilder anticipates successfully delivering a 10 per cent growth in sales completions this year.

The UK housing market has seen a sustained demand from homes with the stamp duty tax holiday expiring next month, attractive loan rates and an appeal for larger properties.

Persimmon delivered 7,406 homes in the first half of 2021, a 51 per cent increase year-on-year.

The average selling price also rose 4.9 per cent to £236,199.

First-half dividends of 235p per share were declared, up from 110p in the first six months of 2020.

The group reiterated it would revert to its pre-coronavirus profile of capital return of two payments per year. The regular annual distribution payment of 125p per share will be made in July 2022.

The home construction company has around 300 active outlets on average across the country and expects to open 85 more by the end of the year, with as many more in the first half of 2022.

Dean Finch, Persimmon’s group chief executive, said: “We’re managing the balance of inflationary pressures well and currently anticipate that our industry-leading returns will remain resilient.”

“The Group has a great platform and good momentum to deliver further disciplined growth into the medium term, creating value for all.”