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Last Updated: Monday, 26 February 2007, 17:32 GMT
Record profit at UK housebuilder
Building workers on scaffolding
The number of homes built by Persimmon rose by almost a third
The UK's largest housebuilder, Persimmon, has reported record profits after an "exceptional" year and says it is looking forward to a strong 2007.

Persimmon reported profits of 582.1m ($1.14bn) for 2006, up 17.5% on the previous 12 months.

Revenues rose 37% to 3.14bn, while current forward sales were up by 1.3bn from the same point a year ago.

It added it had not noticed any loss of confidence among buyers following January's surprise interest rate rise.

Persimmon also said that it had raised its target for the cost savings from last year's takeover of Westbury to more than 45m a year from 2007, up from a previous estimate of 40m.

'Impressive results'

Persimmon - which also owns the Charles Church business - increased the number of homes it completed by 32% to 16,701, with the average selling price rising 4% to 188,129.

Persimmon continues to go from strength to strength
Keith Bowman, Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers

"2006 was an exceptional year for Persimmon," said chairman John White, as he announced that the company was raising its full-year dividend by 50%.

Analysts have said the UK housing market may begin to cool later this year as the impact of three interest rate rises since August begins to take effect.

However, Persimmon said even January's surprise rise in rates had failed to dent interest from buyers.

"The beginning of the year has started well despite the unexpected rise in interest rates, and to date we have achieved a good level of reservations and have not experienced any loss of purchaser confidence as a result of this rate increase," the company said.

"These are impressive results," said Keith Bowman, Equity Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers. "Persimmon continues to go from strength to strength."

Shares in Persimmon closed 3.4% higher at 1473p.




SEE ALSO
Persimmon upbeat on house market
22 Aug 06 |  Business
Westbury purchase helps Persimmon
26 Jun 06 |  Business
Persimmon shrugs off housing dip
27 Feb 06 |  Business
Persimmon set for FTSE 100 index
06 Dec 05 |  Business
UK housebuilders announce tie-up
24 Nov 05 |  Business
Westbury bid buoys housebuilders
14 Nov 05 |  Business

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