Persimmon plc

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Persimmon plc
Public limited company
Traded as LSEPSN
Industry Housebuilding
Founded 1972; 44 years ago (1972)
Headquarters York, England
Key people
Nicholas Wrigley (Chairman)
Jeff Fairburn (CEO)
Revenue £2,901.7 million (2015)[1]
£626.2 million (2015)[1]
£521.9 million (2015)[1]
Website www.persimmonhomes.com

Persimmon plc is a British housebuilding company, headquartered in York, England. The Company is named after a horse which won the 1896 Derby and St. Leger for the Prince of Wales. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a former constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

History[edit]

Persimmon was founded by Duncan Davidson in 1972. After leaving George Wimpey, Davidson had formed Ryedale Homes in 1965, selling it to Comben Homes in 1972 for £600,000. Davidson restarted development again in the Yorkshire area; Persimmon began to expand regionally with the formation of an Anglian division in 1976 followed by operations in the midlands and the south-west.[2] In 1984, Persimmon bought Tony Fawcett’s Sketchmead company; Fawcett had been a director of Ryedale and he became deputy managing director at Persimmon. The enlarged company was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1985, by which time the Company was building around 1,000 houses a year.[3] Steady regional expansion took volumes up to 2,000 by 1988 with a target of 4,000 following the housing recession. Tony Fawcett had died in 1990 and in 1993 John White was appointed as chief executive with Davidson remaining as an executive chairman. In 1995, Persimmon made the first of a series of major acquisitions. Ideal Homes, once the largest housebuilder in the country and then part of Trafalgar House was bought for £176m giving the Group a much stronger presence in the south-east. This was followed by the purchase of the Scottish housing business of John Laing plc and Tilbury Douglas Homes.[2]

In 2001, Persimmon acquired Beazer Homes UK, for £612m, taking output to over 12,000 a year.[2] The deal came about after Beazer and Bryant announced a 'merger of equals' to create a new house builder called Domus.[4] However, Taylor Woodrow stepped in with a £556 million bid for Bryant, and Persimmon bought Beazer, a company named after its founder Brian Beazer, and originally started in Bath. The acquisition of Beazer brought with it Charles Church, a business founded by Charles and Susanna Church in 1965.[5]

In January 2006 Persimmon acquired Westbury, another listed UK house builder, for a total consideration of £643 million.[6]

Operations[edit]

Driveway entrance to the offices of Persimmon plc in York

It builds homes under the Persimmon homes, Charles Church and Westbury Partnerships brands.[7]

Criticism[edit]

Persimmon has regularly come in for criticism due to poor build quality on a number of their homes. Examples include wiring up sockets dangerously giving the potential to shock, installing wobbly bannisters, laying turf on builder's rubble rather than on newly laid soil and radiators not properly fixed to the wall.[8][9][10][11][12]

In addition, Persimmon have been criticised for their sales and aftercare processes which do not always live up to the "enjoyable" and "stress free" experiences promised in the company's own pledge.[13]

In 2001 Persimmon was fined £125,000 following an employee being crushed to death. HSE investigating inspector Tony Mitchell said: "Companies need to ensure that all safety devices are fully operational. In this case properly fitted interlocks would have prevented access to the enclosure, and saved a life".[14]

In 2008 a boy was killed by a falling mantelpiece. Persimmon, which sub-contracted company KD Childs to fit the fireplaces, had not checked the standards and had never received documents about how fireplaces were fitted. A mantelpiece had previously fallen off at another Persimmon Home but it was treated as a "one-off" incident.[15]

In 2013, Persimmon sold a house with a garage that is too narrow for a car to fit into.[16]

In 2014 a toddler burnt his hand so badly by touching a hot metal scuplture owned by Persimmon Homes at a marina in Portishead, Somerset that he needed morphine and surgery. Persimmon's Huw Llewellyn refused to acknowledge the issue.[17]

In 2016 an 18 month old suffered second degree burns on a unguarded, dangerously hot heater in the sales office at Coity Bridgend. Persimmon has refused to issue a health and safety report, with Huw Llewyelln refusing to acknowledge the complaints raised by the child's family.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Annual Report 2015". Persimmon plc. Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Wellings, Fred: Dictionary of British Housebuilders (2006) Troubador. ISBN 978-0-9552965-0-5
  3. ^ Company Prospectus
  4. ^ "BBC News - BUSINESS - Persimmon to enter Beazer race". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  5. ^ "About Charles Church". charleschurch.com. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "BBC NEWS - Business - UK housebuilders announce tie-up". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  7. ^ Persimmon: Corporate Profile
  8. ^ BBC Watchdog: "More moans about new homes"
  9. ^ ITV New Homes from Hell
  10. ^ "BBC NEWS - UK - England - Northamptonshire - Poorly-fixed lintel killed child". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  11. ^ "£30k damage after plumbing nightmare". Wiltshire Times. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  12. ^ "Dream homes turn into a nightmare for neighbours on Persimmon’s Hunters Gate development in Grantham". Grantham Journal. 23 May 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2016. 
  13. ^ "Persimmon Homes BBC Watchdog". BBC. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  14. ^ Dan Stewart. "Persimmon fined £125,000 after crush death". Building. Retrieved 12 May 2016. 
  15. ^ "Death of boy was caused by poorly fixed mantelpiece". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 12 May 2016. 
  16. ^ "Couple's fury after the garage at their new £200,000 home is too narrow for their cars and they cannot open the doors when parked inside - Daily Mail Online". Mail Online. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  17. ^ "Toddler burnt his hand so badly by touching a hot metal sculpture at a marina that he needed morphine and surgery". Daily Mail. 23 June 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  18. ^ "Parents demand Persimmon Homes acts after toddler is badly burned". A spokesman said. 13 May 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016. 

External links[edit]