The FTSE 100 housebuilder said a 70p per share payout on December 14, 2020, will, as it comes after a 40p payment in September, replace the promised 110p final dividend for last year that had been withheld due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The company had roughly £960mln of cash in the bank as of October 31, 2020, while there are also deferred land commitments accounting for £325mln.
Persimmon said trading has remained strong since the first UK lockdowns were lifted in the summer, with average private weekly sales rates per site for the third quarter 38% ahead of 2019, only slightly down from the 49% reported in August.
The York-headquartered group said it was fully sold up for the current year and that house sale completions in the second half are expected to be “at least in line with the second half of 2019”, while it has £1.4bn of forward-sales reserved beyond 2020.
In a statement, under new chief executive Dean Finch, Persimmon seemed a little vaguer than its rivals in their recent updates, with the company not providing its latest average selling price apart from to remind investors that it was £246,208 at the end of June and adding that prices remain “firm” and that demand for new build homes has been “resilient”.