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Persimmon profits up 55pc as £1.9bn dividend plan announced

Housebuilder Persimmon increased underlying pre-tax profits by 55 per cent to £148.1 million in the full year to 31 December 2011

Strong performance came on the back of broadly stable revenue and completions - £1.54bn and 9,360 respectively – and despite a 2 per cent reduction in average sales price to £166,142.

Profits were boosted by an improved operating margin, up by almost a fifth to 10 per cent for the full year and as high as 10.8 per cent in the second half.

Announcing the results, Persimmon group chairman Nicholas Wrigley unveiled a new strategy which will see the company return £1.9 billion to sharelholders between 2013 and 2021.

Under the new capital return plan the company will pay dividends of £6.20 per share.

It will seek to remain ungeared throughout the period.

Mr Wrigley said: “This new strategy sets Persimmon on course to build a stronger, larger business and deliver enhanced shareholder returns over the next decade.”

The company finished the year with £41m in the bank, up form net borrowing of £51m last year, with 14,300 new plots acquired in the year.

Overall it owns or controls around 63,300 plots, representing  6.5 years of supply.

Forward sales were up 9.4 per cent to £927.4m


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