By Adam Clark
U.K. house builder Persimmon PLC (PSN.LN) said Tuesday that profit rose strongly in 2018 amid rising volumes and prices, but it expects house completions to remain flat this year.
The FTSE 100 company made a pretax profit of 1.09 billion pounds ($1.43 billion), up 13% from the prior year. The result was slightly ahead of analyst expectations of GBP1.06 billion, according to a FactSet consensus of four analysts' estimates.
Revenue rose 4% to GBP3.74 billion, the company said. Completions rose to 16,449 from 16,043 a year earlier and the average selling price climbed 1% to GBP215,563.
For 2019, Persimmon said it expects completions to remain at a similar level. For the first eight weeks of the year, the company said its average private sales rate per site was down 4% from 2018, but it expects this to improve following the release of sites currently under construction.
Persimmon didn't comment on press reports that the U.K. government may ban the company from its Help-to-Buy mortgage-incentive plan over construction-quality concerns. However, the company said it implemented new service initiatives in late 2018 which it expects to improve its customer-satisfaction score.
The house builder declared an interim dividend of 125 pence a share and a final dividend of 110 pence a share. The total payout of 235 pence a share was flat from the prior year.