HOUSEBUILDER Persimmon says full-year profits will come in marginally ahead of expectations as it continues to see healthy demand for new homes.

Revenues at the group rose nine per cent to £3.42bn in 2017, with completion volumes growing six per cent to 16,043.

The group's average selling price increased by three per cent to £213,300.

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The results come as Persimmon is embroiled in a row over excessive executive pay, which led to chairman Nicholas Wrigley's resignation late last year.

It follows investor consternation over a long-term incentive plan introduced in 2012, which could see the management share £600m depending on profit and housebuilding targets.

Chief executive Jeff Fairburn is in line for the biggest payout, which is set to top £100m.

However, Persimmon, which has offices in Bowburn, near Durham City, said it experienced healthy customer demand for new homes through the autumn sales season, with the value of its forward sales book standing at £1.35bn, ten per cent ahead of 2016.

As a result, the firm, which has its headquarters in York and further offices in Newcastle and Thornaby, near Stockton, anticipates pre-tax profits for the year to come in "modestly ahead of market consensus".

Mr Fairburn said: “The group continues to pursue disciplined high-quality growth in its regional markets in support of the Government's desire to increase housing supply across the UK.

"We remain mindful of market risks including those associated with the uncertainty arising from the UK leaving the EU.

"However, we are keen to deliver further improvement in our housing output and remain ready to invest wherever the local planning environment is supportive."

The housebuilder said that completion volumes grew six per cent to 8,249 in the second half of the year versus the first six months.