Wednesday 15 January 2020 7:21 am

Persimmon sales slump due to customer service drive

Persimmon has reported a slump in revenue and housing completions, which the housebuilder blamed on a decision to “put customers before volume”.

The FTSE 100 firm said total group revenue last year was £3.65bn, a 2.4 per cent dip compared to the previous year as it took action to improve quality and customer service following complaints over poor build quality.

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The drive to increase customer satisfaction also saw new home legal completions for the year drop four per cent, and new housing revenues dropped 3.5 per cent to £3.42bn. 

Persimmon said it expects the group’s pre-tax profit to be in line with market consensus. 

In a trading update this morning the housebuilder said it had a total forward sales value of £1.35bn, compared to £1.39bn the previous year, which is said will “provide Persimmon with a solid platform” this year. 

The company said its cash balance was around £844m on 31 December, a drop from the £1.05bn held in 2018.

Chief executive Dave Jenkinson said: “Delivering the maximum benefit to our customers from our quality and service improvement initiatives will continue to be my top priority for 2020.

“I am pleased with the progress we have made in 2019 and there is more to do. Action taken to maintain our increased levels of work in progress investment, the increase in quality assurance and customer service resources, and our plans for the implementation of the recommendations of the recent Independent Review, will all add to our momentum.”