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Persimmon YTD forward sales up 23%

Wed 28 April 2021 08:32 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - Homebuilder Persimmon said on Wednesday that its year-to-date forward sales position had improved 23% year-on-year despite the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Persimmon said its current forward sales position, including year-to-date legal completions, was £3.0bn - up from roughly £2.4bn at the same time a year ago.

The FTSE 100-listed group's average selling price for homes sold to private owner-occupiers in the forward order book came to £252,000, up from £244,500 twelve months earlier, with Persimmon stating customer inquiry levels remained "encouraging" throughout the year-to-date as its average private sales rate came in "well ahead" of 2020.

Persimmon said build rates across its developments remained at pre-pandemic levels, whilst maintaining all Covid secure protocols.

It also stated it had taken advantage of "good quality selective land investment opportunities" during the period, resulting in net land spend of £140m, with 6,000 plots being brought into the business in 29 locations across the UK during the period.

Persimmon added that its balance sheet and liquidity remained "robust" and held £940.0m of cash at 23 April, with deferred land commitments of approximately £90.0m to the end of the current year.

Chief executive Dean Finch said: "Persimmon has made a strong start to the year with current forward sales 23% ahead of last year and 11% ahead of the same point in 2019. Our build rates continue at pre-Covid levels and we remain on track to deliver first-half volumes approaching those of the first half of 2019.

"Demand for newly built homes remains healthy and the Group's sales rates are encouraging. Persimmon's high-quality land holdings, balance sheet strength and liquidity provide a strong platform to continue to deliver the homes the country needs, underpinning long-term sustainable returns for the benefit of all of its stakeholders."

As of 0825 BST, Persimmon shares were up 1.24% at 3,186.0p.

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