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March 3, 2021, 4:26 a.m. EST

Persimmon reports fall in profit and revenue

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By Joe Hoppe

Persimmon PLC said Wednesday that pretax profit and revenue fell in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, but that recovery in the second half has continued into 2021.

The U.K. home builder made a pretax profit of 783.8 million pounds ($1.09 billion), compared with GBP1.04 billion the prior year.

Revenue fell slightly to GBP3.33 billion from GBP3.65 billion, the company said, on the back of completions that fell 14% to 13,575.

The board declared an interim dividend of 125 pence a share will be accelerated from July 2021 to be paid on March 26. A further payment of 110 pence a share will be divided evenly between August and December of this year, the company said.

For 2021, Persimmon said it is seeing strong demand for new homes, as the recovery in the second half of 2020 continued into the new year.

For the first eight weeks of the year, the company said that its average weekly private sales rate was up 7% on year. It said its forward order book was up 15% on year at GBP2.3 billion.

Persimmon said it expects to deliver a full return to home completions in line with 2019 levels next year.

Write to Joe Hoppe at joseph.hoppe@wsj.com

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