Monday, November 16, 2009

Persimmon 'strong' after increase in forward sales

Persimmon has told the stock market that its financial position is “strong” after reporting an increase in forward sales for next year.

In an interim statement for the period covering 1 July to 16 November, the house bulder said trading levels were up on the same period last year since and it expects to have completed around 9,000 homes for the year to 31 December.

Persimmon said encouraging summer sales rates had been maintained through the autumn, prices had held firm and forward sales were up on last year. It said it was fully sold up for 2009 and had a further ВЈ500m of sales on the books for next year.

The house builder added that it was working to reduce debt and expected borrowings at the year end to be “significantly lower” than the £400m guidance given at the half year results.


Persimmon strong after increase in forward sales


However, Persimmon warned that further UK job losses could harm the housing market and it still had “significant concerns” about the availability of mortgages, particularly the higher loan to value products required by first time buyers.

The statement added : “Whilst we remain concerned about the potential impact on our markets of any significant increase in unemployment over the coming months, debt is reducing well ahead of our previous guidance, sales volumes have stabilised and pricing conditions are currently more positive.

“Having strengthened our forward order book and reduced borrowings significantly, the group's financial position remains strong."

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