April 25, 2018 / 6:51 AM / 3 months ago

UK builder Persimmon reports robust start to the year

(Reuters) - Persimmon (PSN.L), Britain’s second-largest housebuilder, on Wednesday reported robust trading since the start of the year, with sales conversion and cancellation rates in line with expectations.

FILE PHOTO: Builders construct modular Space4 homes on a Persimmon development in Coventry, February 22, 2017. REUTERS/Darren Staples

“Customer activity since the start of the year has been encouraging with the group’s total enquiry levels running about 13 percent ahead of the prior year,” the company said.

Total forward sales revenue, including completions, was up by about 8 percent at 2.76 billion pounds, it said.

The average selling price of its homes was 236,500 pounds, compared with 229,500 pounds a year earlier.

In March, Persimmon named Roger Devlin as its new chairman, hoping he will help the company move on after a row over an executive incentive plan saw his predecessor quit last year.

The corporate pay scheme has since been scaled back. Originally, it could have seen the firm’s top management, including Chief Executive Jeff Fairburn, make a profit of more than 200 million pounds on share options.

The company will be holding an annual general meeting later on Wednesday, where shareholders will vote on remuneration for senior bosses.

Reporting by Radhika Rukmangadhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter

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