Persimmon sales rocket to 49%
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Britains largest house builder hailed an “excellent” start to the second half while revealing the impact of Covid-19 on its first six months of the year.
Half year results to June 30 2020 show group revenue was down to £1,190mfrom £1,754m last time as pre-tax profits slid to £292.4m from £509.3m.
Dave Jenkinson Group chief executive hailed the company’s “preparedness, agility and strength” during the pandemic.
He commented saying that “Taking an early decision not to take advantage of the furlough scheme for any colleagues, we maintained good momentum in the business, continuing to serve our customers, making detailed preparations for a safe return to work and, when it was appropriate, restarting our build programmes efficiently.
“Build rates were back at pre-Covid levels by the end of the period.
“The Group has had an excellent start to the second half with a c. 49% year on year increase in average weekly private sales rates per site since the start of July and a current forward order book of c. £2.5bn, a 21% increase on last year.
“Our strong opening work in progress position and excellent build rate through the summer give us confidence in a positive second half outturn.
“We expect that by the end of September, we will have delivered c. 45% of our anticipated second half new home legal completions.”
Persimmon is also proposing a “modest” interim dividend of 40p for shareholders.