£1bn pre-tax profit for Persimmon

Persimmon’s profits hit £1 billion during its year to December 31st, 2018, it reported whilst also announcing its new group chief executive as Dave Jenkinson on 26th February.

During 2018, the volume housebuilder’s pre-tax profit climbed 13% to £1.091 billion against 2017, with a 13% increase in operating profits to £1.083 billion. Revenue lifted 4% to £3.74 billion.

Persimmon also saw legal completions rise 3% to 16,449, with the average selling price up 1% to £215,563 with “strong performances” across all its geographical markets being seen.

It achieved 0.70 of a sale per week against 2017’s 0.72, “reflecting the resilient trading conditions seen in 2018,” it said.

Across the UK, Persimmon opened 180 new sales outlets, down on last year’s 200.

Persimmon’s current total forward sales, including legal completions taken so far this year, stand at £2.02 billion against the previous year’s £2.03 billion. It is expected to deliver a similar number of legal completions during 2019 as in 2018.

During the first 2 months of 2019, Persimmon’s average private sales rate per site was 4% lower than the previous year. The firm has put this down to Brexit uncertainty, “record sales in the same weeks last year” and a range of new customer service initiatives Persimmon implemented in late 2018.

Commenting on Persimmon’s results, Dave Jenkinson, ceo said: “Our results for 2018 reflect our successful focus on offering attractively priced new homes primarily to the first time buyer and first time mover markets, where housing need is greatest.

“Whilst the sales outlook remains subject to a degree of uncertainty at the start of any financial year, at this point the group’s sales are in line with management’s expectations.”