UK's Persimmon upbeat on housing outlook despite HY profit fall

Persimmon signage is seen at a building site in Durham, as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues. Durham, Britain, March 25, 2020. REUTERS/Lee Smith/File Photo

Aug 17 (Reuters) - Persimmon (PSN.L) on Wednesday forecast robust demand for new homes and reiterated its annual home completions outlook, dispelling fears of a slowdown in the sector, although the British housebuilder posted a fall in its half-yearly profit.

The outlook comes as Britain's housing industry braces for a slowdown as household finances take a hit from surging cost of essentials, with labour shortages and prolonged supply chain issues pressuring the sector further.

"We are on track to achieve an about 10% increase in our active outlets by the end of the current year as we work to rebuild our outlet position after a land-buying pause three years ago and are tackling the ongoing challenges in the planning system," Chief Executive Officer Dean Finch said.

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Persimmon, which operates under the brands Persimmon Homes, Charles Church, and Westbury Partnerships, said pre-tax profit for the six months ended June 30 fell more than 8% to 439.7 million pounds ($532.7 million), while revenue too declined over 8% to 1.69 billion pounds.

The country's second-largest homebuilder reaffirmed its 2022 outlook for the number of homes built at 14,500 to 15,000 units, adding that it continued to expect volume delivery to be significantly higher in the second half of the year.

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Reporting by Amna Karimi and Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V

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