City File: Moving calls

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PERSIMMON, the housebuilder, is not thought able to match its prediction of 2,600 sales in 1992. A more realistic figure is 2,400.

Lack of demand is also forcing the company is having to spend heavily to provide incentives to persuade people to move at all. That said, Persimmon is still the most profitable quoted builder around with an average profit margin of 28 per cent.

Its landbank extends to 13,000 plots, or five years' solid building. The balance of the landbank has changed for the better, with the company managing to dispose of many expensive plots bought during the property boom and acquiring cheaper replacements.

Recently purchased cheap land accounts for half the landbank.