Monday, 29 August 2016

Persimmon is the latest to dismiss the negative effect of Brexit as interest continues to be 'robust'

The latest in a ever-growing list of companies from the building and construction industry to announce good news post-Brexit is Persimmon.

They anticipate a “good autumn sales season”, based on the figures they reported that since July 1 its private sale reservation rate was running 17% ahead of the same period last year. That is quite some progress in just 12 months, especially with the widely predicted downturn expected.

Releasing its half year results to the city, the volume house builder acknowledged that the result of the EU referendum had created uncertainty, but its customers “quickly digested” the news, with customer interest being robust since the result. Persimmon said that the level of visitors per site per week was 20% ahead year-on-year.

During the six months to June 30 2016, market conditions were “positive”, Persimmon said. Its pre-tax profit increased by 29% to £352.3 million against the equivalent period in 2015. Revenue climbed 12% to £1.49 billion, with legal completions rising 6% to 7,238 new homes at an average selling price of £205,762 -  6% higher.

Over the six month period, the number of visitors to Persimmon’s sites was 8% ahead of 2015. Its weekly private sales rate per site rose 4% to 0.75.

Its current order book, including legal completions from July 1 2016, is 2% ahead of the same point as last year at £1.75 billion. It has 5,836 new homes sold forward into the private sale market.

Persimmon said that cancellations increased “modestly” in the week following the referendum result, returning to normal levels.

Jeff Fairburn, group ceo, said: “Persimmon's robust trading performance in the first half of 2016 was driven by our continued focus on meeting market demand to deliver controlled sustainable growth.

“While the result of the EU referendum has created increased economic uncertainty, customer interest since then has been robust with visitor numbers to our sites around 20% ahead year on year."

He added: “The group is now trading through the traditionally slower summer weeks but customer demand remains encouraging and we anticipate a good autumn sales season.”

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