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Persimmon sales up 7 per cent

Persimmon, the UK's largest housebuilder, revealed a 7 per cent rise in like-for-like sales today.

In a trading statement the group added that total turnover hit £2.4 billion in the first six months of the year - compared with £1.78 billion a year earlier -

after it completed the £642 million acquisition of rival Westbury in January.

Persimmon said it completed the sale of 8,000 units in the six months, an improvement on the 5,954 seen in 2005 after the addition of Westbury.

Average selling prices were also up in line with expectations -

from £183,581 to £188,000 - while Persimmon forecast a modest pick up

in build costs.

The company added that margins had been affected by the Westbury

acquisition, but it pointed out that it expected an improvement over

coming months.

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