Housebuilder Persimmon's pre-tax profit for the six months to 30 June rocketed 42% to £68.8m after the acquisition of rival Beazer earlier this year.
The bottom line takes account of a £12m bill for the integration of Beazer, which Persimmon says is complete. Turnover for the enlarged housebuilder increased £70.5m to £432.9m.

Persimmon's chairman, Duncan Davidson, said: "The six months to 30 June 2001 was the most significant period in Persimmon's history to date. All areas of the enlarged group performed well, particularly the original Persimmon businesses, which had strong sales and profit growth."

All Beazer's businesses and staff have now been integrated into the group, with the loss of 660 jobs and the closure of 12 offices. Persimmon expects to make annual savings of £33m from the merger.

Persimmon has been criticised for its handling of the acquisition, and the group is still facing claims from up to 25 former Beazer regional directors and senior managers who were unhappy with their severance packages.

The group's landbank remains one of the strongest in the industry with 52,434 plots under ownership and an extra 7650 ha of strategic land also available.

Analysts welcomed the results and said that they proved the £612m acquisition was worth it. Stephen Rawlinson, of stockbroker Peel Hunt, said the results made Persimmon one of the better housebuilders to invest in.

He said: "The stock is cheap and with sentiment towards housebuilders becoming more sustained, Persimmon is one of the best placed in the sector."

Persimmon said it was in the process of selling Beazer's prefabrication and social housing divisions.

A management buyout, led by Beazer Partnerships managing director John Cadwallader, is expected to snap up the businesses in the next few weeks.