Persimmon suffers public backlash and H1 revenues down

Persimmon suffers public backlash and H1 revenues down

British housebuilding company Persimmon plc (LON: PSN) posted a trading update ahead of the release of the official release of its results for H1 in August. This round of results displayed consistent performance, with modest increases in average house prices within their portfolio, while their legal completion volume and overall revenues both dipped slightly.

Persimmon have faced criticism from media outlets and angry members of the public on social media. This followed what the Company lauded as a campaign to increase customer satisfaction, which many have boiled down to the hijacking of online complaint forums and blanket censorship.

The Company’s total revenues were down from £1.836 billion to £1.754 billion on-year, for the first half. Housing revenues were also down 5.6% for H1 2019, finishing at £1.645 billion, compared to £1.742 billion the year before. Further, new housing completion volumes were down by 488, from 8,072 to 7,584 and the value of total forward sales fell marginally from £1.680 billion to £1.622 billion.

On a more optimistic note, the average selling price of properties in the Company’s portfolio rose from £215,813 to £216,950.

Persimmon comments

On the update, Company Chief Executive, Dave Jenkinson, said,

“I am pleased that there are some clear early signs that our focus on increasing the quality and service delivered to our customers is beginning to bear fruit, with some encouraging improvements being made right across the business.  Although we are still in the early days of our improvement plans our customer satisfaction rating, as measured by the HBF, has increased during the period.”

“Our progress on customer service shows that Persimmon is listening carefully to all stakeholders and making the changes needed to position the business for the future, while maintaining a robust trading performance. We enter the second half with our build programme well progressed, healthy rates of sale on site and an encouraging forward sales position. I look forward to giving further details of our progress at the interim results in August.”

Investor notes

The Company’s shares are down 0.81% or 16p to 1,971.5p a share 04/07/19 15:40 GMT. UBS and Liberum Capital analysts reiterated ‘Buy’ stances, while Shore Capital and Peel Hunt reiterated their ‘Hold’ ratings on Persimmon stock.

Elsewhere in property development and estate agency news, there have been updates from; McKay Securities plc (LON: MCKS), MJ Gleeson PLC (LON: GLE), Somero Enterprises Inc (LON: SOM), Bovis Homes Group plc (LON:BVS) and Telford Homes plc (LON: TEF).