Persimmon appoints new chief executive as profits leap

Persimmon has appointed a new boss as the FTSE 100 housebuilder records another year of growth.

The company has confirmed that interim chief executive Dave Jenkinson will stay on in the role permanently.

He has been with the firm for 22 years and took on the position four months ago after previous chief Jeff Fairburn left amid controversy surrounding his £75 million pay package.

Persimmon stock
Jeff Fairburn stepped down as Persimmon chief executive amid controversy over his £75m pay package (Persimmon/PA)

The announcement came as Persimmon reported annual revenue growth of 4% for last year, reaching £3.74 billion.

Pre-tax profits surpassed £1 billion, growing 13%.

Legal completions in 2019 are expected to be flat on the previous year at around £2.02 billion.

Mr Jenkinson said the results reflected the success of Persimmon’s strategy of targeting mostly first-time buyers, but said there was more to do and pledged to improve the business under his leadership.

My focus is to build on this strong platform, maintaining our operational momentum, but also implementing a number of necessary new initiatives in customer care

“My focus is to build on this strong platform, maintaining our operational momentum, but also implementing a number of necessary new initiatives in customer care,” he said.

“A wide range of projects to improve customer satisfaction commenced in late 2018 and the initial results have been encouraging, giving us confidence in our ability to make progress in this important area.”

It comes as the company’s right to sell Help to Buy homes comes under scrutiny amid Government concerns over its behaviour.

A source close to Housing Secretary James Brokenshire told the Press Association that the minister had become increasingly concerned over the last 12 months.

“Leasehold, build quality, their leadership seemingly not getting they’re accountable to their customers, are all points that have been raised by the Secretary of State privately,” the source said.

Persimmon’s shares dropped 4.7% following the news on Monday.