Persimmon unveils 44% jump in profits

Persimmon unveils 44% jump in profits

UK’s biggest housebuilder brings forward dividend as help-to-buy scheme propels revenues to £2.6bn

Persimmon, the UK's biggest housebuilder, has brought forward its dividend payment after reporting a 44% jump in annual profits.

The company sold 13,509 homes last year, up 17% on 2013, and was upbeat about the outlook for the housing market, despite uncertainty created by the general election in May. Chairman Nicholas Wrigley brushed aside any concerns over a slowdown, saying the economic recovery and the mortgage deals on offer provided a "supportive backdrop for the new homes market".

However, comments from Bank of England policymaker Kristin Forbes, who said higher interest rates may be needed "in the near future", dragged down shares in Persimmon and other UK housebuilders. Persimmon was one of the biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 index, down 3.5% to £16.50.

For now, the sector is booming. Rival Bovis Homes reported a 69% rise in annual profits to £133.5m on Monday, having sold a record 3,635 homes.

Rival housebuilder Redrow reported record first-half profits of £91.2m, up 92%, and doubled its interim dividend a fortnight ago.

About 40% of Persimmon's 2014 sales exploited the government's help-to-buy scheme aimed at first-time buyers. Revenues climbed 23% to £2.6bn, propelling underlying profits before tax to £475m, ahead of City forecasts.

Persimmon chief executive, Jeff Fairburn, said the company had generated so much cash it would pay out 95p a share to investors in April rather than July. This is part of a pledge to return £1.9bn (£6.20 a share) to shareholders over nine-and-a-half years.

Persimmon said it had a "solid opening period" to the 2015 spring season, underpinned by low cancellation levels and the reduction of stamp duty on house purchases for the majority of homebuyers in December's autumn statement. Forward sales, of £1.49m, are 5% up on last year.

Persimmon has opened 60 of the 120 new sites planned for the first half of this year and aims to have construction under way at 400 sites by the end of June. It has been hiring ex-military personnel to train as bricklayers and joiners amid severe skill shortages in the industry.

Back

Search Jobs

Lechley Associates are a leading provider of people solutions to the construction industry


shadow
  • Scott is currently providing a service to me regarding placement into the UAE (senior management - environmental/conservation related projects). Scott has attention to detail - and always performs… more
    Dean Morgan
    Senior environmental consultant/scientist/ecologist
  • Scott is a well respected professional in his field. He has provided services to www.therichworks.co.uk by providing the website with accurate detailed information for our visitors wishing to… more
    Susanne Ingham
    www.therichworks.co.uk
  • I have been working for several years now with Scott as one of our preferred suppliers for various delicate recruitment missions. Every time, Scott shows a high level of dedication, thoroughness… more
    Michael Horvat - 迈克.奥赫瓦特
    HR Director, Legal Counsel
  • Worked very closely with Scott of Lechley Associates HR and Recruitment specialists in the UK, Abu Dhabi and recently in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. I found his firm to honest and forthright, commercially… more
    David Pryor MA MIPM
    International Trade, New Project & Development Opportunities