Tuesday 10 November 2020 8:28 am

Persimmon to pay extra dividend on back of 'robust' summer performance

Housebuilder Persimmon today announced that it would pay an interim dividend of 70p per share in December after fending off the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

The extra payout comes on top of a 40p per share dividend paid in September, and means that the company will have fully replaced its previously delayed 110p per share final dividend.

In a trading update, the FTSE 100 company said that it was fully sold up for the current year and had already secured £1.4bn of forward sales for the coming years.

Persimmon said that it had enjoyed a strong third quarter, with resilient demand for new build homes.

It added that the average private weekly sales rates per site for the period was 38 per cent ahead of the same in 2019.

However, with the increase in activity across the whole housing market, it said that its market share had started to trend towards more normal levels on recent weeks.

Chief executive Dean Finch said: “Persimmon continues to perform robustly despite the significant challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic and we are currently on course to deliver a good result for 2020.”

Persimmon’s sales offices and manufacturing facilities will stay open through this newest lockdown, unlike in March.

Richard Hunter, Head of Markets at Interactive Investor, said: “Persimmon is playing the hand which it has been dealt prudently and profitably.

“Returning demand meant that during the summer, the company was indeed able to make hay while the sun shone. 

“The summer surge, partially driven by some pent-up demand, has resulted in a strengthening of the company’s financial position, with net cash of £960 million comparing to £829 million at the half-year results.”