Persimmon slips to £1.7bn amid customer service drive

Scandal-hit York housebuilder Persimmon said on Thursday its revenues for the first six months of 2019 slipped to £1.754 billion from £1.836 billion amid a drive to improve customer service at the firm.

An independent review of the company’s quality and customer care operations has commenced.

Persimmon is still recovering from criticism of its excessive executive compensation that led to the departure of its former CEO Jeff Fairburn and scrutiny of its alleged practices with the UK government’s “Help to Buy” scheme.

Housing revenues for the first six months were 5.6% lower at £1.645 billion with new housing legal completion volumes down to 7,584 new homes from 8,072. The average selling price rose to £216,950 from £215,813.

The news was contained in a trading update ahead of its half year results to June 30, 2019, which will be released on August 20. 

Persimmon CEO Dave Jenkinson said: “I am pleased that there are some clear early signs that our focus on increasing the quality and service delivered to our customers is beginning to bear fruit, with some encouraging improvements being made right across the business. 

“Although we are still in the early days of our improvement plans our customer satisfaction rating, as measured by the HBF, has increased during the period. 

“Our progress on customer service shows that Persimmon is listening carefully to all stakeholders and making the changes needed to position the business for the future, while maintaining a robust trading performance.

“We enter the second half with our build programme well progressed, healthy rates of sale on site and an encouraging forward sales position.

“I look forward to giving further details of our progress at the interim results in August.”