HOUSEBUILDER Persimmon saw its profits grow by nearly a quarter in 2016.

Underlying profits grew by 23 per cent to reach £783 million last year, the company has announced.

The number of new homes it completed rose by 599 to 15,171, and the average selling price also grew by 3.8 per cent to reach £206,765, the figures show.

The group also announced a further increase to its capital return plan by £77 million, or 25p per share, taking the total value of the plan to £9.25 per share.

So far in 2017 the company has also reported a seven per cent increase in visitors to its sites, and said it had achieved some modest selling price improvement.

The share price rose by one per cent in early morning trading.

Laith Khalaf, Senior Analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown: "The Brexit-shaped dent in Persimmon’s share price has now been almost entirely repaired by brisk trading and resilient performance from the UK economy.

"Business so far this year also appears to have continued in a manner which will confound sceptics, and in a show of strength Persimmon is extending its already prodigious capital return plan, which will mean more cash paid back to shareholders."