Lack of pipeline of ready sites blamed for staff being put on notice

Housebuilder Persimmon has instituted a restructuring of its West Midlands office that has resulted in a number of staff leaving the firm.

Building understands a large number of staff were put on notice at the company’s office in Wolverhampton because of a lack of an immediate pipeline of ready sites.

Mike Killoran, finance director at Persimmon said: “We’ve still got a West Midlands business, but of course we continue to review our overhead levels. As a business, you’re always looking for the best people.”

Killoran did not say how many jobs were affected. The news comes as Persimmon reported half year results showing “underlying” pre-tax profit up by half despite an almost 10% decline in revenue.

Killoran said the revenue decline was largely due to after-effects of the weak housing market in the autumn of last year leading to fewer completions in the first part of 2011.

Pre-tax profit was £59.7m before exceptional items, up 52% on the first six months of last year. However, after including last year’s £63.6m write-back in land value, the pre-tax profit was actually down 40%.

The company sold 5% fewer homes, 4,439, at an average price of £162,647, also lower than last year. However, sales are currently running 4% ahead of last year’s summer level.