Persimmon profit up 23% on higher sales, prices

Underlying profits grew by 23 per cent to reach £783 million past year, the company has announced.

During the year, Persimmon said it delivered 15,171 homes to customers, up from 14,572 in 2015, and sold those houses at an average selling price of GBP206,765, representing a 3.8% increase on the prior year.

The firm also reported an increase in full year revenue, up 8% to £3.14bn, while its operating margin for 2016 was 25%, up from 22% in 2015.

Jeff Fairburn, group chief executive, said: "The availability of the government's Help to Buy scheme remains an important facility supporting greater access and increased participation of first-time buyers in regional new-build housing markets".

The group has now completed the first five years of its long term strategy which remains focused on growing Persimmon into a stronger, larger business while maintaining capital discipline and robust free cash generation.

"Visitors to our sites are circa 7% ahead year on year".

It added that despite "particularly demanding comparatives", current total forward sales, including legal completions taken so far in 2017, are £1.89bn.

However, it added that it remained "wary of the risks and increased uncertainties associated with the European Union referendum result".

It added that 2017 had got off to a promising start, with "encouraging" levels of customer activity.

Persimmon said it will pay a second interim dividend of 110p per share for 2016, meaning it will pay a total of 135p per share, ahead of the 110p per share paid a year earlier. "The further increase in the Capital Return Plan demonstrates the Board's confidence in the Group's prospects".

  • Zachary Reyes