Persimmon Boosts Half-Year Profit on Strong U.K. Housing Market

Persimmon Plc, one of the U.K.’s largest home-builders by market value, said half-year profit rose 45 percent as strong conditions in the U.K. housing market boosted earnings.

Net income increased to 237 million pounds ($369 million) from 163.2 million pounds a year earlier, the York, England-based company said in a statement Tuesday. The number of homes sold rose 7 percent to 6,855.

The company said it expected a good Autumn season after the summer holiday period draws to a close. “Our private sale reservation rate since 1 July is 5 percent ahead of the same period last year, which is a reflection of the continuation of healthy customer demand,” Chief Executive Officer Jeff Fairburn said in the statement.

Shares in Persimmon and U.K. competitors Barratt Developments Plc, Bovis Homes Plc and Taylor Wimpey Plc have risen sharply since David Cameron’s Conservative Party won the general election in May, with investors betting he will favor the industry.

“House-builders have had it all their own way,” Robin Hardy, a sector analyst at Shore Capital Stockbrokers, said in an interview ahead of the results. The extension of the government-backed “Help to Buy” initiative and favorable conditions in the land market were all boosting home-builders, Hardy said.

Persimmon’s revenue increased by 11 percent from a year earlier to 1.33 billion pounds, while its underlying operating profit margin widened to 20.5 percent from 17.7 percent. Earnings per share increased to 77.3 pence from 53.5 pence.

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