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Persimmon posts “robust” 2020 trading

Persimmon has reported “robust” trading during 2020, despite the impact of the pandemic.

In a trading update, the house builder reported a jump in average weekly sales rate per site by 39% over the second half of the year.  Total group revenues were down from £3.65bn to £3.33bn.

Persimmon chief executive Dean Finch said: ““Against the backdrop of the unprecedented challenges of 2020, Persimmon produced a robust performance for the year, as we continued to deliver the new homes the country needs. 

“The group’s strong second half completions were supported by its advanced build coming into the year, an agile and effective response to the Covid-19 pandemic and resilient customer demand.”

“Recent events have served to further demonstrate the continuing near term uncertainties arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“However, we believe that the longer term fundamentals of the UK housing market remain resilient and I am confident Persimmon will continue to deliver superior long term value for all of its stakeholders.”

The number of new home completions fell from 15,885 in 2019 to 13,575 in 2020.

Steve Clayton, Manager of the Hargreaves Lansdown Select UK Income Shares, commented on the Hargreaves Lansdown trading update: “Persimmon enjoyed a strong bounce-back when pandemic-driven restrictions on trading were lifted mid-year. Since then it has bolstered its balance sheet through robust cash generation and a forward sales position of roughly half a year’s expected revenues.

“At this stage, with the end of the stamp duty holiday in sight, taking a cautious view of the immediate outlook is the right approach, but we have seen more bullish outlooks from some of the group’s rivals. Persimmon have also left investors waiting until their full year results in early March for news on the group’s dividend intentions. So perhaps no surprise then to see the shares a little weaker in early trading”.

Persimmon shares are trading -4.56% at 2.658,00 (1015GMT).

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