Persimmon Shares Rise on Reservation Bounce After Brexit Vote

(Bloomberg) -- Persimmon Plc, the U.K.’s largest homebuilder by market value, climbed in London trading to the highest level since the Brexit vote after the company said first-half profit increased and reservations rose sharply last month.

The stock climbed as much as 4.6 percent and was trading at 1,873 pence as of 10:20 a.m., the highest since June 23. First-half net income rose 19 percent to 283 million pounds ($373 million), the company said in a statement Tuesday. The reservation rate since July 1 increased 17 percent compared with the same period a year ago, it said.

Persimmon’s trading since the referendum was the “key surprise” Charlie Campbell, an analyst at Liberum Capital Ltd., wrote in a note. U.K. housing sales overall declined the most since 2008 as the vote to leave the European Union undermined demand, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said in a report this month.

“While the result of the EU referendum has created increased economic uncertainty, customer interest since then has been robust, with visitor numbers to our sites around 20 percent ahead year on year,” Chief Executive Officer Jeff Fairburn said in the statement.

London, the most expensive U.K. market, has seen the steepest decline in investment demand, according an RICS survey carried out after the Brexit vote. Persimmon, which focuses on areas outside the U.K. capital, has an average selling price of 205,762 pounds, about 16 percent less than the country’s second-largest builder, Taylor Wimpey Plc, which develops more London homes.