Persimmon says strong results for six months to 30 June 2004 will act as springboard for further acquisitions and higher growth.

Persimmon’s has posted a 45% increase in pre-tax profit for the six months to 30 June 2004. The housebuilder's pre-tax profit was £220.3m compared to £151.7m for the same period last year. Turnover also increased, by 21% from £857.2m to £1.03bn.

Completions were up 9% at 6,058 homes and average price rose from £154,110 to £171,082. As a result of its strong performance Persimmon has increased the interim dividend by 30% to 9.1p.

Persimmon was confident that it would sustain its impressive performance. It said that it already had sales of £1bn booked for the second half of 2004 and that 12,000 homes for the current year had either been completed exchanged or were under reservation.

Group Chairman Duncan Davidson said: “Persimmon is very well placed to deal with whatever conditions the UK housing market may produce. Our long land bank, relatively low average selling price, and excellent record of profitable growth put us in a very competitive position.”

Davidson said that Persimmon’s strong balance sheet would give it the opportunity to expand, both organically and by acquisition.

He said: “Persimmon is very confident of achieving its planned volume and profit growth in both new and traditional markets across the whole of the UK in 2004 and beyond.