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18 Aug 2021 | 07:04

Persimmon profits surge as demand returns to pre-Covid levels

(Sharecast News) - Interim profits at house builder Persimmon surged on the back of increased demand and government support measures as Covid curbs were eased, the company reported on Wednesday. Pre-tax profit for the six months to June 30 rose to £480.1m from £292.4m on revenue of £1.84bn compared with £1.19bn a year earlier. The dividend was lifted to 110p a share from 70p.

Forward sales were currently at £2.23bn, including legal completions in the second half so far, up 9% on the pre-pandemic trading year of 2019.

New home completions rose 51% to 7,406, as the average selling price rose 4.9% to £236,199.

Persimmon said it would revert to the pre-Covid profile of capital return of two payments a year, with the payment of the regular annual distribution of 125p per share being made in early July 2022.

The company reaffirmed guidance for around 10% growth in sales completions this year.

"The fundamentals of the housing market continue to remain positive with improving consumer confidence, low interest rates, and mortgage lenders that are keen to support customers to buy a home of their own," said chief executive Dean Finch.

"We expect a more normal seasonal trading pattern to reassert itself through this year compared with 2020, which was disrupted significantly by the pandemic."
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