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Persimmon sees full-year pre-tax profit ahead of market consensus

FILE PHOTO - A sign is displayed at a Persimmon construction site in Dartford, southern Britain August 21, 2015. REUTERS/Neil Hall/File Photo

(Reuters) - Britain's second biggest housebuilder Persimmon Plc (PSN.L) said on Tuesday it expects full-year pre-tax profit to be modestly ahead of market consensus, boosted by new projects.

The company, which has focused on building cheaper family houses that are less prone to tightening at the top of the UK housing market, said the market has continued to benefit from robust employment levels, low interest rates and a competitive mortgage market.

The FTSE company's revenue rose 4 percent to 3.74 billion pounds ($4.82 billion) for the year ended Dec. 31, with sales rising 3 percent to 16,449 units. Average selling price also ticked up 1 percent in 2018. (https://bit.ly/2AJS1R2)

"We believe the update reads relatively well and does not suggest the group has seen any sharp deterioration in trading recently. The next significant catalyst will be how the spring selling season performs in 2019 with all the Brexit turmoil in the background," Canaccord Genuity analyst Aynsley Lammin wrote in a note.

Forward sales stood at about 1.4 billion pounds at the end of last year, 3 percent higher than last year on the back of strong sales in the second half.

(Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)