Persimmon lifts profits guidance

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Persimmon has reported a significant increase in underlying profits for 2010

Housebuilder Persimmon has delivered a profits surprise despite the impact of the freezing weather on an already sluggish housing market.

The UK’s second largest housebuilder said it had achieved a significant increase in underlying profits for 2010 after turnover lifted by 10% to around £1.57 billion. This followed the completion of 9,384 sales in the year at an average price of £167,000, itself an improvement of 6%.

It added that underlying profits will be at the top end of market expectations, which currently range from £75 million to £96 million.

The improvement comes despite a lacklustre autumn sales period and after the freezing weather reduced sales activity in December.

However, the Charles Church owner said pricing remained stable and that margins on its forward sales of around £565 million had been maintained.

The company added: “It is too early in the New Year to assess the likely outcome of the forthcoming spring sales season.

“However, we believe that prospective purchasers who may have postponed visits to our developments due to the harsh weather conditions prior to the year end will return during the coming weeks.”

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