Persimmon sales improve, Farley to retire

House builder Persimmon said full year sales rates and prices improved on the same period last year as it announced that Chief Executive Mike Farley will retire at the AGM in April.

House builder Persimmon said full year sales rates and prices improved on the same period last year as it announced that Chief Executive Mike Farley will retire at the AGM in April.

The volume of new homes legally completed for the year ended December 31st 2012 increased by 6% to 9,903 from 9,360 in 2011.

The average selling price also rose 6% to around £173,400 versus £163,999 the year before. Revenue for the period increased to £1.72bn, up 12% on the previous year.

As previously indicated, underlying operating margin continued to strengthen in the second half and it anticipates that it will be roughly 13% for the full year compared to 10.0% in 2011, with its second half margin over 13.5%.

"Margin improvement remains a key part of our strategy, with the medium term aim of returning to underlying operating margins within the range of 15% to 17%," it said in a company update.

"We believe we have made further encouraging strides towards achieving this objective through the launch of new sites offering attractive returns and exercising firm control over our costs."

Persimmon held £200m of cash balances at December 31st 2012 compared to £41m before.

CJ

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