Another house builder riding the wave of surging demand.
Following bumper results from Bovis yesterday, Persimmon has said this morning that its profit before tax more than doubled in 2013.
The 54.5 per cent increase to £337.1m came about as the group “responded quickly” to growing customer demand, outperforming its original long term plan.
Chairman Nicolas Wrigley said improved mortgage lending, consumer confidence and the introduction of Help to Buy have boosted the number of people buying homes.
Full year revenues rose 21 per cent to £2.1bn, and underlying basic earnings per share increased 47 per cent to 83.3p.
Underlying gross margins were 20.2 per cent for the year – 2.7 percentage points higher than in 2012.
The average selling price rose four per cent to £181,861, with more larger family homes being sold.
Persimmon acquired 17,735 plots in the year, meaning it’s now got six-and-a-half years of supply.
The group entered 2014 with a “very strong forward order book” – £908m of sales reserved and contracting, meaning it expects to see further sales growth.
Visitor numbers to sites are up 16 per cent on last year, with the developer’s weekly private sales rate per site 22 per cent ahead of a year ago.
Selling prices have remained firm, Persimmon said. Total forward sales are at £1.4bn for this year – up 41 per cent on 2013.
Upping capital return
Persimmon plans to return 115p per share to shareholders by 2021, but said it’s going to make additional dividend payments earlier than expected, distributing 70p per share this July.
The board’s commitment to return £1.9bn to investors will also see it make a planned payment of 95p per share next year, along with payments – which were not previously planned – of at least 10p per share in both 2016 and 2018.