Shares of Persimmon PLC (LON: PSN) gained nearly 6% today after the company proposed an interim dividend. The housebuilding company noted an excellent start to the second half of 2020.
On the financial data end, Persimmon recorded a pretax profit of £292.4 million for the six months ending June 30, falling by 43% from £509.3 million in 2019. Tumbling profit was a consequence of lower sales, down to 4,900 units from 7,584 units a year ago.
As a result, revenue fell to £1.19 billion from £1.75 billion. The lower sales were partially offset by a rise in the average new home selling price, jumping to £225,066 from £216,942 a year ago.
“Despite the significant disruption, the group’s preparedness, agility and strength ensured a robust first half performance with 4,900 new home completions and further good progress made on our customer care improvement plan,” said Dave Jenkinson, Persimmon's chief executive.
Still, an interim dividend of 40p per share was declared after the homebuilder said it observed an “excellent” start to the second half of the year. Sales rose 50% since the beginning of July, compared to a year ago.
“Taking an early decision not to take advantage of the furlough scheme for any colleagues, we maintained good momentum in the business, continuing to serve our customers, making detailed preparations for a safe return to work and, when it was appropriate, restarting our build programmes efficiently,” added Jenkinson.
Persimmon share price jumped almost 6% to hit 2766p.