Persimmon boosts sales but warns over economic impact of Ukraine conflict

The housebuilder said revenues and house prices rose in 2021 as the housing market remained strong.

02 March 2022

Housebuilder Persimmon enjoyed a boost in revenues and rising house prices as it benefited from a strong market.

But the company said it could see disruption to the UK economy as a result of the conflict in Ukraine.

Economists believe inflation will rise higher as a result of tough economic sanctions on Russia and sky-high oil and energy prices hitting global economies.

Persimmon’s chief executive, Dean Finch, said: “We are mindful of the growing risk of an economic impact as a result of the tragic conflict in Ukraine.”

But the company remains positive for the year ahead overall, after a strong 2021 that saw house sales up and revenues rising.

The company said 2021 saw it complete 14,551 homes, compared to 13,575 a year earlier, with revenues hitting £3.6 billion versus £3.3 billion in 2020.

New home average selling prices also rose to £237,078 from £230,534 in 2020, helping pre-tax profits jump to £966.8 million from £783.8 million a year earlier.

Mr Finch said the company maintained build rates at pre-Covid levels and improved customer service during the year.

He added: “An agile approach across the business ensured we navigated the supply chain challenges posed by the pandemic, with our Brickworks, Tileworks and Space4 manufacturing facilities providing security of supply for essential materials and helping us maintain our operating efficiency.”

The company will expand production at its facilities this year as it plans for further growth.

Persimmon bought 20,750 plots last year and expects to open 75 new outlets to sell properties from, the boss added.

The company had previously put aside £75 million to fund any cladding issues following the Grenfell tragedy. It has identified 33 sites in need of work.

Bosses said they did not need to increase the pot at this time but said it has extended its search for affected properties by 30 years following requests from the Government.

Persimmon added it would not claim cash from the Government’s Building Safety Fund.

Since the start of the year, private sales have been 2% ahead of the previous year and volumes are expected to grow 4% to 7% on 2021 levels.

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