Demand for homes lifts Persimmon's first half revenue 33 pct

Wed Jul 2, 2014 6:14am EDT

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LONDON, July 2 (Reuters) - British housebuilder Persimmon Plc said its revenue rose a third in the first half, boosted by high demand for its new properties across its sites in England, Scotland and Wales.

The company said its total revenue rose to 1.2 billion pounds in the first six months, with legal completions rising 28 percent to 6,408 new homes.

British house prices rose at the fastest rate in more than nine years last month, spurred on by a shortage of supply, figures from mortgage lender Nationwide showed on Wednesday.

House prices rose by 1.0 percent on the month in June after a 0.7 percent rise in May, taking the annual rate of increase to 11.8 percent - the biggest rise since January 2005.

Persimmon's Finance Director Jeff Fairburn said Persimmon's average selling price rose 4 percent to about 186,000 pounds, and it had total forward sales revenue at June 30, of about 1.18 billion pounds.

It plans to open about 100 new sites in the second half of the year.

"One of the key things is to make sure we get our new sites up as soon as possible, so we can get houses built on those and get the completions for the second half," he said.

"We have the forward sales, it's really going to be a matter of constructions, but as you can see we have really worked hard to increase our volumes over the last two six-month periods."

Shares in Persimmon were broadly flat at 1,294 pence in mid-morning trade. (Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Sarah Young)

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