Profits surge at Persimmon


Persimmon cheered investors in the housing sector yesterday with news of a sharp acceleration in profits as its margins improved over the first half of the year.

The York-based housebuilder said it had made £59.7m in underlying pre-tax profits in the six months to the end of June, marking a rise of 52 per cent on the figure for last year, as its underlying operating margin improved to 9 per cent, against 8 per cent last year. Reflecting this, Persimmon raised its interim dividend by 33 per cent to 4p per share.

The company did, however, remain cautious on the domestic housing market. Looking ahead, Persimmon said that that while the housing market "remains stable", it expected conditions to stay challenging, owing to the general economic backdrop.