January 8, 2014 / 7:29 AM / in 4 years

Persimmon revenues jump 21 pct on higher prices, demand

LONDON, Jan 8 (Reuters) - British housebuilder Persimmon reported a 21 percent jump in full year revenues, at the top end of analyst expectations, helped by higher selling prices and strong customer demand.

Persimmon, the country’s largest housebuilder by market value, said in a trading update on Wednesday before its full year results on Feb. 25 that revenues for the year to the end of December stood at 2.1 billion pounds.

Analysts were expecting the company to post revenues of between 1.91-2.06 billion pounds, a Thomson Reuters survey of 13 analysts showed.

“This growth in revenues and the anticipated further improvement in operating margins will enable us to deliver strong underlying pre tax profit growth for the year ended 31 December 2013,” it said.

Britain’s housebuilding sector was dragged out of its slump in 2013 after the government unveiled measures to help struggling homebuyers purchase properties with small deposits, stoking demand and encouraging overall market sentiment to improve.

Persimmon said the average selling price of its homes rose 4 percent to 180,900 pounds over the prior year, helped by a shift to build more lucrative and popular traditional family homes. It said it had increased the volume of new house sales delivered by 16 percent to 11,528 for the year.

It also said it had continued to experience robust private sales through to the year end and that the value of its total forward sales at Dec. 31 was 41 percent ahead of the prior year at 908 million pounds.

In a separate statement, housing and construction firm Galliford Try said it was anticipating a record half year profit, driven by strong performance in its housebuilding firm, and that its pipeline of opportunities in the construction sector was growing despite still-challenging conditions.

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