Housebuilder "in very strong position" to meet full year expectations

Housebuilder Persimmon has reported a forward sales position of £950m for the second half, an increase of 8% on its position this time last year.

The company said in a trading update that it was in a very strong position to meet its full year expectations. The company has also increased its margins to over 20.5% compared with 19.9% in the same period last year.

Persimmon house

The company said that despite rising interest rates the new homes market has remained active but competitive in the first half of 2007. The housebuilder said it has achieved an increase in the weekly sales per site, but that this had been offset by having a reduced number of outlets in the first few months of this year due to planning delays.

Persimmon has been the subject of repeated speculation in the acquisitions market since rival companies Taylor Woodrow and George Wimpey announced a £5bn merger earlier this year, which will make the combined group the UK’s largest housebuilder.

In its statement, Persimmon said: “We continue to consider every opportunity to grow our business whilst ensuring that we invest where this is in the best interests of the business and shareholders in the medium and long term. Currently we have a landbank of c. 82,000 plots owned and under control. We are confident that we will continue to strengthen our landbank further as we achieve future successes with the promotion of our large strategic land holdings.”