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April 28, 2021, 2:52 a.m. EDT

Persimmon reports higher private sales

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By Joe Hoppe

Persimmon PLC said Wednesday that its private sales rate for this year to date has risen with customer enquiries remaining encouraging.

The home builder said that since Jan. 1, its average private sales rate has been well ahead of 2020, as expected given the effect of the coronavirus pandemic, but didn't provide a figure. It said the private sales rate was around 17% of the same period of 2019.

The company said it has a robust forward order book, standing at 3.0 billion pounds ($4.17 billion), up from GBP2.40 billion last year and 11% ahead of the same time in 2019.

Persimmon said customer enquiries were encouraging throughout the period and the average selling price to the private market for the year to date has been around GBP252,000, compared with about GBP244,500 in 2020.

The FTSE 100 company said it had a cash position of GBP940 million as of April 23 and a GBP300 million revolving facility, along with deferred land commitments of GBP90 million to the end of the current year.

"Our build rates continue at pre-Covid levels and we remain on track to deliver first half volumes approaching those of the first half of 2019," Chief Executive Dean Finch said.

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

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