Persimmon closes offices and construction sites

Persimmon closes offices and construction sites

Persimmon plc (LON:PSN) posted an update on Wednesday concerning the evolving COVID-19 outbreak.

Shares in the British housebuilding company were up by over 3% during trading on Wednesday.

Since the British government announced new lockdown rules at the start of the week, Persimmon has taken “further measures”.

The housebuilding company will close all of its sales offices from Thursday onwards until further notice.

Persimmon added that all customer care site visits will stop except for emergencies, but it will continue to support existing and new customers on the phone and online.

Meanwhile, all of its regional offices will close, with only a skeleton staff to assist the wider workforce working from home.

“Construction sites are commencing an orderly shutdown with only essential work taking place which will be focused on making partly built homes safe and secure and where failure to complete the build could put customers in a vulnerable position,” Persimmon said.

Dave Jenkinson, Group Chief Executive, commented: “Our primary concern is the safety and well-being of our customers, staff, contractors and suppliers and we have today set out a number of further measures throughout the business to protect them for the duration of the pandemic.  We will listen carefully to the Government’s future advice as the situation develops and will make further adjustments where necessary.”

“The Group’s long-term strategy of minimising financial risk and maintaining capital discipline over the long term through the housing cycle, ensures that we are well placed as we enter this period of uncertainty,” the Group Chief Executive continued.

“Whilst the impacts of this pandemic go beyond the normal cyclical nature of the housing market, the Group’s high quality land holdings, significant liquidity and strong balance sheet will allow us to work through these challenges and emerge in a strong position for the benefit of all our stakeholders,” the Group Chief Executive said.

As the outbreak of COVID-19 continues to develop in the UK, the government has accelerated measures to help contain the spread of the virus.

Boris Johnson addressed the nation on Monday evening and delivered stricter lockdown rules, instructing everyone to say at home.

Shares in Persimmon plc (LON:PSN) were up on Wednesday, trading at +3.52% as of 10:50 GMT.