Persimmon share price: Property firm delivers final results
Persimmon (LON:PSN) today announced its final results for the year ended 31 December 2014.
**Highlights from the company’s statement:**
Underlying profit before tax* increased by 44% to £475m (2013: £330m); Full year revenue up 23% to £2.6bn (2013: £2.1bn); Legal completions increased by 17% to 13,509 (2013: 11,528) and average selling price increased by 5.3% to £190,533 (2013: £180,941); Underlying operating margin* increased to 18.4% (2013: 16.0%); with second half improvement to 19.0%; Return on average capital employed* increased by 40% to 24.6% (2013: 17.6%); A further 26,822 plots of land acquired in the year, with 9,386 plots successfully converted from the Group’s strategic land portfolio; Underlying basic earnings per share* increased by 49% to 124.5p (2013: 83.3p); Generated total net free cash inflow (before capital return) of £388m (2013: £231m); Net cash of £378m at 31 December 2014 (2013: £204m cash); Forward sales^ at over £1.49bn (2013: £1.42bn), an increase of 5%.
Capital Return Plan: Returned £442m to shareholders to date; Second instalment of 70p per share paid 4 July 2014, significantly accelerated from its planned payment in 2021; Combination of particularly strong trading in 2014 and robust capital discipline have enabled a further acceleration of the Capital Return Plan; 95p payment due 6 July 2015 brought forward to 2 April
Nicholas Wrigley, Group Chairman, said: “Persimmon delivered a strong and well balanced performance in 2014. We have undertaken disciplined investment to support sustainable growth in volume, increasing the number of completions by 17% in the year, bringing the increase in the number of new Persimmon homes completed over the last two years to 36%.
“We have had an encouraging start to 2015 and experienced a solid opening period to the spring season with current total forward sales of £1,490m, 5% ahead of the previous year. Despite some uncertainty arising from the General Election in May, the ongoing gradual improvement in the UK economy and increasing mortgage lender support provides a supportive backdrop for the new homes market.”
**More to follow…**
As of 07:11 GMT, Tuesday, 24 February, Persimmon plc share price is 1,710.00p.