Housebuilder Persimmon eyes profit rise for 2010

Persimmon sign
Image caption The firm expects prospective buyers to return in coming weeks

Homebuilder Persimmon is expecting strong profits for 2010 after turnover rose by 10% to £1.57bn ($2.4bn).

The UK's second-largest housebuilder said it completed 9,384 homes in 2010, against 8,976 in 2009. And its average selling price was up 8.6% at £168,936.

Persimmon said sales activity fell by 50% in December, but that there had been an encouraging start to the year.

It said that house prices would remain stable in 2011 as consumer confidence remained fragile.

The company added: "It is too early in the New Year to assess the likely outcome of the forthcoming spring sales season.

"However, we believe that prospective purchasers who may have postponed visits to our developments due to the harsh weather conditions prior to the year-end will return during the coming weeks."

It comes as the Halifax said that UK house prices fell by 1.3% in December.

The Halifax also said house prices fell by 1.6% in 2010 and there was likely to be "limited movement in house prices during 2011".

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