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UK builder Persimmon posts 30% first-half profit rise

[LONDON] Britain's second biggest housebuilder Persimmon said its first-half pre-tax profits rose 30 per cent to £457 million (S$802.2 million) but it would remain cautious over land buying due to uncertainty around Brexit.

Persimmon, which built just over 15,100 homes across the country in 2016, said its volumes rose 8 per cent to 7,794 units in the first six months of the year and that customer interest in its developments remained strong.

The firm said the housing market was still "confident" and its reservation rate had risen 2 per cent in recent weeks but it would be prudent about buying land for future building, the biggest cost faced by most builders. "We will remain cautious with respect to new land investment for as long as the uncertainties facing the market persist, particularly those associated with the risks to the UK economy resulting from the UK's exit from the EU," the firm said on Tuesday.

REUTERS

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