- Total revenues up 33%
- Forward sales growth slows to 28% from 35% in Q1
- Strong cashflow supporting substantial land purchases
- Regional markets remain positive ahead of slower summer
Following on from its UK housebuilding peers, Persimmon continued to sell more houses and at higher prices, although its forward sales revenue growth slowed from the first-quarter.
A strong pre-close statement ahead of its interim results showed total revenues increased by 33% to £1.2bn in the first half of the year as the group's average selling price increased by 4% to £186,000 due to a continued increase in the proportion of larger family houses in the sales mix.
Persimmon, which legally completed 6,408 new homes, up 27% from 5,022 year-on-year, said customer demand for "good quality housing in attractive locations" remained firm across all its regional markets.
Looking forward, the FTSE 100 company's outlook statement seemed conservative. "With the gradual improvement in performance of the wider UK economy confidence in our regional markets across the UK remains positive as we enter the traditionally slower summer weeks," it said.
"We will continue to focus on the successful delivery of our operational objectives and execution of our longer term strategy."
Total forward sales revenue at June 30th 2014 stood at roughly £1.18bn, 28% higher than the comparative £0.92bn, down from the 35% growth seen in the first quarter.
Persimmon has around 4,100 new homes sold forward into the private sale market, which is 29% ahead year-on-year, with an average selling price of around £204,600, 3% higher. It opened 90 new sites in the first half of the year and plans to open approximately 100 new sites during the second half.
Shareholders can look forward to the second stage of its capital return plan poised for Thursday this week, where 70p per share will be paid out.
Topping up the cash coffers holdings, free cash net inflow in the period increased almost two thirds to £122m to lift the bank balance to £326m, from £48m a year before.
This strong liquidity supported substantial land replacement through the first six months with roughly £290m of land expenditure and circa 14,300 new plots of land acquired to swell the consented land bank at 82,300 plots by the period end - or almost seven years' output.