Housebuilder Persimmon sees profits surge by 44pc


Persimmon - Credit: Archant

Housebuilder Persimmon has reported another big jump in profits as it continues to benefit from helpful conditions in the new homes market.

The York-based builder, which trades as Persimmon Homes, Charles Church and Westbury Partnerships, said legal completions jumped 17% to 13,509 last year, with averaging selling prices up 5.3% to £190,533.

Its profits lifted 44% to £475 million after rising by nearly 50% the previous year. Revenues improved 23% to £2.6 billion in 2014, a performance influenced by stronger lending by the major mortgage providers and the impact of the Government's Help to Buy scheme on demand.

Persimmon said it had also made an encouraging start to 2015 with current total forward sales of £1.49 billion, 5% ahead of the previous year.

The company said the market returned to more balanced conditions in the second half of 2014, although it added that the Chancellor's reduction of stamp duty on house purchases for the majority of home buyers was supporting sentiment and reducing costs for potential buyers.

Chairman Nicholas Wrigley said: 'Despite some uncertainty arising from the General Election in May, the ongoing gradual improvement in the UK economy and increasing mortgage lender support provides a supportive backdrop for the new homes market.'

During the last year Persimmon opened 185 new sites and the company said it is optimistic of launching a further 120 new sites in the first half of 2015.

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It owned or controlled about 87,700 plots of land for future development at the end of 2014, having acquired 26,822 plots of new land on 156 sites last year.