YORK based house builder Persimmon says it is well placed to respond to changing market conditions as it reports a 30 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £457.4 million.

The Fulford-based business achieved revenues of £1.66 billion during the six months ending June 30, 2017, up from £1.49 billion during the same period the year before.

Turnover was boosted by a four per cent increase in the group’s average selling price, which rose to £213,262. This was gained in comparison to a 4.9 per cent rise in the national average property value in the UK in June to £223,257.

Jeff Fairburn, group chief executive, said: “The successful execution of the group’s long term strategy continues to support excellent trading results as seen again in the first half of 2017.

“Our focus on meeting market demand to deliver high quality sustainable growth in each of our 29 regional businesses is delivering excellent outcomes for our customers, our shareholders, and all our stakeholders.

“The market remains confident. Customer interest in our developments remains strong.

“While we remain vigilant to changes in market conditions we also recognise we are in a strong position to take advantage of opportunities that arise. We are looking forward to a good autumn sales season.

“With a high quality land bank, very strong balance sheet and excellent forward sales the group has built a platform for its future success.”

During the period, Persimmon closed in on the 100,000 mark for its consented land bank portfolio as the acquisition of 9,319 plots of new land took the total to 98,712.

Persimmon chairman Nicholas Wrigley said increasing output through the expansion in the number of active outlets under development is “one of the major challenges in the industry”, alongside resourcing sites with the required trade skills to meet the demands of the business’s build programmes.

Mr Wrigley said: “Through the second half of 2016 the group experienced stronger market conditions than expected post the EU Referendum on June 23, 2016, particularly through the traditionally slower summer weeks.

“Against these stronger comparatives, customer interest over the last seven weeks from July 1 has remained robust and our average weekly private sales rate per site was two per cent ahead of last year.”