StockMarketWire.com - House builder Persimmon booked a modest fall in first-half profit as its revenue was hit by a decision to sell homes later in their construction process to address quality concerns.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through June fell 1.4% to £509.3m, down from £516.3m on-year.

Revenue fell 4.5% to £1.75bn.

Persimmon sold 7,584 new homes, down from 8,072 on-year, though the average selling price rose to £216,942, up from £215,813.

'Improving the quality and service delivered to our customers remains our top priority and I am encouraged with the progress made in the first half, which clearly shows that Persimmon is changing,' chief executive Dave Jenkinson said.

Jenkinson said the company's customer satisfaction ratings were showing improvement.

Spending on customer service had risen 40%, while an additional £140m was invested in work-in-progress, as the company held back some sites for later sales release.

'Allowing for these impacts, Persimmon's trading in the first half of 2019 was strong,' Jenkinson said.

For the current financial year, Permission said its current forward sales position, including legal completions since 1 July, remained strong with total forward sales revenue of £2.05bn, up from £2.12bn on-year.

The company had 5,988 new homes sold forward into the private owner occupier market, down from 6,528,, with an average selling price of around £249,000, up from around £235,800.

The company's average weekly private sales rate per site for the year to date was 0.72, which was down from 0.76 but in line with the company's expectations. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com