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July 9, 2020, 2:22 a.m. EDT

Persimmon sees strong start to second half

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By Joe Hoppe

Persimmon PLC said Thursday that it has entered the second half of the year in a strong position, although revenue and sales fell over the first six months amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.K. homebuilder said year-on-year sales were up 15% as of June 30, with work in progress well advanced and cash holdings of 830 million pounds ($1.04 billion), and net reservations rising 30% year-on-year in the final six weeks to June 30.

In the six months to June 30, the company said revenue fell 32% to GBP1.19 billion, on the back of new legal completions falling to 4900 from 7584 in the first half a year prior. It added that the average selling price rose slightly to GBP225,05, from GBP216,942.

Persimmon said it had an encouraging forward order book, with forward sales of new homes at June 30 of GBP1.86 billion, up 15% on the year before, and cancellation levels remained in line with historic trends. It added that the payment of the postponed final dividend for 2019 will be re-evaluated in the second half of the year, although it remains confident in its ability to navigate the crisis.

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

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