Persimmon shares up after big rise in profits

Persimmon housing development in Bath
Image caption Persimmon said its results were strong against the backdrop of tough trading conditions

Shares in homebuilder Persimmon have jumped 19% after it announced a big rise in annual profits and a stock buy-back scheme.

It made an underlying pre-tax profit of £148.1m in 2011, up from £95.5m a year earlier, as it increased its operating margins.

Its full-year revenues were lower, down to £1.54bn from £1.57bn in 2010.

Persimmon is to return £1.9bn to shareholders over the next nine-and-a-half years.

The company said its latest results were strong in the face of "difficult housing market conditions".

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