Persimmon unveils boardroom changes and a surge in completions
Housebuilder Persimmon has announced several main board changes and an 8 per cent increase in new home completions.
Nigel Greenaway, south division chief executive, is to retire after almost 30 years of service at the company.
Also north division chief executive, David Jenkinson, will be promoted to group managing director with immediate effect, reporting directly to the group chief executive, Jeff Fairburn.
Two non-executive directors, Richard Pennycook and Mark Preston, have also handed in their notice and will resign from the board after the company’s AGM in April 2016 due to commitments elsewhere. Richard Pennycook, who has been a non-executive director of Persimmon for nearly eight years, is resigning to make more time for his forthcoming role as chairman of Howden Joinery Group from May 2016. Mark Preston, a non-executive director for four years, has commitments at the Grosvenor Estate.
Nigel Mills, a senior advisor at Citigroup Global Markets, will join the board as a non-executive director on their departure.
Following these changes, the Persimmon board will consist of the chairman, three executive directors and four non-executives.
An annual trading update from the firm this morning revealed that a surge in second half new home completions helped to deliver 14,752 homes in 2015, 8 per cent up on last year.
Persimmon said further improvements to its build programmes at the mid-year stage, together with healthy sales taken through the autumn season, helped it to lift second half completions by 13 per cent to 7,717.
Two new businesses opened last year made a solid start to trading, with Central delivering 160 new homes and Teesside 310 new homes during the year.
A further two new businesses based at Launceston in Cornwall and Perth in Scotland commenced trading this week to support “disciplined growth”.
Overall revenues for 2015 rose 13 per cent to £2.9bn, while the house builder’s average selling price edged up 4.5 per cent to £199,100.
Persimmon ended the year with forward sales of £1,100m is 13 per cent ahead of 2014 and cash balances of £570m, 50 per cent up on the same time last year.
The housebuilder said its expansion in output, together with improved operating profitability, would produce a substantial growth in pre-tax profits.