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Persimmon in strong start to the financial year

Persimmon has seen a 25 per cent increase in private sales between 1 January 2014 to 16 April 2014 compared to the same period in 2013.

The major housebuilder said its strong start to the financial year was supported by the four year extension to the government’s Help to Buy scheme, which will now end in March 2020.   

Persimmon has around 395 active sites in the UK to date and has opened 75 of the 90 new outlets targeted for the first half of 2014.

The company said it anticipates sales to continue rising as well as legal completions during 2014.

Private sales between 1 January 2014 to 16 April 2014 were 25 per cent ahead of the prior year, improving total forward sales of £1.87bn for 2014, including legal completions taken so far for the year.

Forward sale revenue was also up, with a 35 per cent increase on the same period for 2013. Persimmon has 7,200 new homes sold forward into the private market for 2014, 38 per cent up on the prior year.

Average selling prices increased 3 per cent, at £200,400.

It has seen a 10 per cent rise in visitor levels and a 14 per cent cancellation rate to its sites in the first fifteen weeks of 2014.

Persimmon said its strategy remained “focussed on exercising capital discipline”, keeping to its commitment to return £1.9bn of surplus capital to shareholders over the period to 2021.

In February the group announced in its final results for the period to 31 December 2013 that it would accelerate its programme of capital return.

Subject to shareholder approval, the second payment of the capital return plan of 70p per share, will be paid to shareholders on 4 July 2014.

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