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LONDON, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Housebuilder Persimmon Plc posted a 57 percent rise in pretax profit after it sold 6,408 new homes in the six months to end-June, and said it was trading ahead of last year in the traditionally slower summer period.
The company, which pre-announced its sales last month, reported first-half underlying pretax profit of 212.9 million pounds ($355.7 million).
Persimmon said it had taken advantage of the strengthening British property market to deliver growth and it anticipated opening about 100 new development sites during the second half.
"As we have entered the traditionally slower summer trading weeks, we have been encouraged by our private sale reservation rate since 1 July which is currently running 9 percent ahead of the same period last year," Chief Executive Jeff Fairburn said on Tuesday.
Analysts expect the group's profit for the full-year to be 440 million pounds, according to Thomson Reuters data.
$1 = 0.5986 British Pounds Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Karolin Schaps