RNS Number : 1352V
Persimmon PLC
14 April 2016







Persimmon plc ("the Company") will hold its Annual General Meeting ("AGM") at 12.00 noon today at York Racecourse when the Chairman will make the following statement regarding current trading, financial performance and the outlook for the current financial year. This statement covers the period from 1 January 2016 to date and supplements the update given with the 2015 Final Results on 23 February 2016.


Consumer confidence is being supported by the continued progress made by the UK economy. The Group remains focussed on delivering family housing across the UK, excluding central London, to meet the continued demand for new homes at affordable prices. The number of customers visiting our development sites across the UK in the period was c.12% ahead of last year. Mortgage lenders remain keen to offer customers the opportunity to access mortgage credit on very attractive terms. Cancellation rates have continued to run at historically low levels.


We brought forward a healthy order book into 2016 and our strong sales performance over the period has resulted in total forward sales revenue, including legal completions taken so far in 2016, being 8% higher than last year at £2.15 billion (2015: £2.00 billion). Our weekly private sales rate per site over this period was 6% ahead of last year. We have 7,598 new homes sold forward into the private sale market for 2016 with an average selling price of c. £220,000, an increase of 5.8% over the prior year.


We are currently developing 370 active outlets across the UK, having opened 75 of the 100 new sites planned for the first half of the year. The Group continues to build new homes on all sites where an implementable detailed planning consent has been secured. Planning delays continue to erode the total number of active outlets being developed by the industry, hindering the drive to increase the volume of newly built homes delivered to the market. We are working hard to increase our active outlet numbers towards c.400 by the end of 2016 and will continue to focus on increasing our output to meet market demand. The Group has continued to invest in high quality new land in support of its future growth.  


The Directors are pleased to announce that the Company has recently concluded an amendment of its £300m Revolving Credit Facility with the Company's five relationship banks, extending its maturity date to 31 March 2021.


Growing the business as market conditions allow whilst exercising capital discipline through the cycle is at the heart of the Group's strategy launched in early 2012. An important aspect of this capital discipline is our commitment to return surplus capital to shareholders over the long term.


The fourth payment of the Capital Return Plan of £338 million, or 110p per share, was brought forward and paid as a dividend on 1 April 2016. In addition, on 23 February 2016 the Board announced an increase of £860 million, or 45%, to the original Capital Return Plan, increasing the total value of the plan to c. £2.76 billion or £9.00 per share to be returned to shareholders by the end of 2021.   


Since the launch of the new strategy in early 2012 the Group has delivered a 56% increase in new homes completed, invested over £2,200 million in new land, and opened 812 new development sites. We have also returned a total of £1,071 million of surplus capital to shareholders, over £550m higher than was originally planned.


The Group is in a strong position to continue to make good progress over future periods.  


We will provide a further report in our Trading Update on Tuesday 5 July 2016.


For further information please contact:                                 


Jeff Fairburn, Group Chief Executive

Simon Rigby

Mike Killoran, Group Finance Director

Kevin Smith

Persimmon plc

Jos Bieneman

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7638 9571 on the day

Citigate Dewe Rogerson

Tel: +44 (0) 1904 642199 thereafter

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7638 9571


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange