YORK housebuilder Persimmon has enjoyed a “strong finish” to the year as it cements a 21 per cent rise in turnover to £2.1 billion.

In a trade update, released ahead of its final results due next month, the Group says it has built the business by swiftly reacting to rises in house sales with increased construction activity.

For the year ended December 31, Persimmon delivered 11,528 new house sales, a rise of 16 per cent from the previous year.

It appears 2013 got progressively stronger for the business with the second sixth months seeing legal completions on 6,506 new homes, 30 per cent more than the first half of the year, and 25 per cent higher than the same period in 2012.

Mike Killoran, group finance director at Persimmon, said: “We are pleased with how the business is performing. One of the key points is the progress we have made on the build side.

“We have reacted swiftly to the increase in sales rates after the introduction of the Government Help To Buy scheme introduced in April.

“It’s been about having build programmes and processes that allow us to gear up the production. It’s not just our internal strategies. Our construction teams have put in a great deal of effort but we do rely on the supply chain and we have had a lot of good support from our suppliers and sub contractors in helping us to deliver these results.”

Persimmon has also seen a four per cent rise in average selling prices for the year, which have risen from £173, 823 to £189,900.

In its trade update the business said the increase was due to “the change in mix of sales of our traditional family housing across the UK year on year”.

The firm, which employs 105 of 2,500 staff at its headquarters in Fulford, acquired around 17,600 plots of new land during 2013, which bosses says demonstrates an appetite to invest in further growth.

The trade update stated: “This growth in revenues and the anticipated further improvement in operating margins will enable us to deliver strong underlying pre tax profit growth for the year ended December 31, 2013, demonstrating further progress with the delivery of the long-term strategic plan.”

The second half of 2013 saw Persimmon successfully meet targets of opening 85 new sites, entering the new year with 390 active sites across the UK. The group said it expected to open a further 90 in the first half of this year. Despite investments in land the business has maintained strong cash holdings with a closing balance of £204 million, £3 million up from 2012.