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Persimmon sales up 20pc

Sales at house builder Persimmon have increased 20 per cent to £1.15 billion compared to this time last year.

Persimmon will give shareholders a progress report on the year so far at its annual general meeting, held today at York Racecourse.

The firm said: “Since we announced our results for the year ended 31 December 2009 on 2 March 2010, weekly sales volumes have remained consistent despite a backdrop of continued uncertainty regarding the wider economic outlook and the forthcoming General Election. 

“Total sales, including legal completions to date, are around 20 per cent ahead of last year at £1.15 billion.”

Along with increasing sales, margin expansion is still a major area of focus for the directors: “Maintaining an appropriate level of sales while focusing on achieving price growth in all regions continues to form the basis of our current strategy. Margin improvement remains a priority.”

Persimmon is currently operating from almost 375 sites, having opened 50 new sites in the first three months of the year.

It has a further 40 sites which it currently intends to start during the second quarter of the financial year.

At the end of March, the point in the financial year where working capital requirements traditionally peak, net borrowings were £265 million, compared to £680 million at the same point in 2009.