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British housebuilding company Persimmon has announced positive developments in its land bank and increases in revenue and profit in the first half of 2017, in line with its long-term plans.

Jeff Fairburn, group chief executive, said, “The successful execution of the Group’s long term strategy continues to support excellent trading results as seen again in the first half of 2017.”

Revenue was up 12% to £1.66 billion (€1.81 billion), compared to £1.49 billion (€1.62 billion) in the same period in 2016.

Profit before taxes increased by 30%, from £352.3 million (€383.1 million) in the first half of 2016 to £457.4 million (€497.4 million) in the same period this year.

The company’s underlying operating margin, stated before goodwill impairment, was recorded at 27.6% in the first half of 2017, compared with 23.8% in the first half of 2016.

A total of 9,319 plots of new land were secured over the period, bringing the consented land bank up to 98,712 plots, from 97,187 plots at the end of 2016.

Net cash came to £1.12 billion (€1.22 billion) at the end of June 2017, which was significantly up on the June 2016 figure of £462 million (€502.2 million). This was prior to £339.5 million (€369.1 million) capital return paid at the start of July 2017.

Current forward sales were 15% higher than the 2016 first-half figure of £1.75 billion (€1.9 billion), reaching £2 billion (€2.17 billion) in the first half of this year.

Fairburn said, “Whilst we remain vigilant to changes in market conditions we also recognise we are in a strong position to take advantage of opportunities that arise. We are looking forward to a good autumn sales season.”

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