Housebuilder reports 9% drop in average house sale price and says it will pay no dividend for 2009

Persimmon has announced losses in its end-of-year results released today and said it would not pay dividends for 2009.

The housebuilder recorded a pre-tax loss for the year of £780m and a decrease of 8.7% in the average selling price of homes, from £189,558 in 2007 down to £172,994 by the end of 2008.

John White, group chairman, said: “This has been a difficult year for Persimmon and the industry as a whole. We have taken decisive steps to refocus the business accordingly.”

Turnover for the year ending 31 December was £1.76bn, compared with £3.02bn in 2007, a fall of 42%.

Persimmon homes
The average selling price of Persimmon's homes fell by 8.7% last year

Persimmon said it had “successfully been restructured to a size appropriate to the level of current demand” following its cutting of 1,100 jobs last July.

The company said it “would continue to apply tight control over all expenditure. In support of this strategy Persimmon will not pay a dividend for 2009.”

As already revealed yesterday, Persimmon has agreed new terms and conditions with its banking partners and private note holders for the amendment of existing credit facilities, as of 27 February.

The housebuilder said in its end-of-year results that it remained very cautious on land acquisitions. In its outlook, the firm said it anticipated 2009 was “likely to be another difficult year”.

It was also announced that the main board director David Bryant would retire at the end of the year, and will step down from the board on 23 April. He has been with Persimmon since 1985.