Ticker PSN

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As of 23:23 15 Feb 2019
Market cap. Pound sterling
7,637.82 million
As of 23:23 15 Feb 2019

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Building firm in Carlisle traffic lights row

Local Democracy Reporting Service

John Connell

The national housebuilding firm Persimmon and Carlisle city Council are in a legal row over whether traffic lights should have been installed at a road junction.

Junction of Windsor Way and Kingstown Road

The company was supposed under planning conditions to install traffic lights at the junction of Windsor Way and Kingstown Road before the 20th new home on an estate near the junction was completed.

But residents say 50 homes are now complete and 40 occupied, but no traffic lights have been installed, and some suggested work should be halted on the 600-home development.

A Carlisle City Council spokeswoman said: "These concerns have been passed on to the developer who are in discussions with the highway authority regarding their planning obligations."

A spokeswoman for Persimmon Homes said the company was working with the county council to ensure the work was done, with the finalised design now being reviewed by the Highways Department, adding: "Persimmon Homes are committed to completing the improvements as soon as possible."

More on Brexit and housebuilders

Unfortunately, the [house building] sector is squarely in the firing line because of Brexit and the potential damage it could wreak on the UK economy. Quite apart from the possibility of the country spinning into an immediate economic downturn, any ongoing weakness in sterling could well lead to a further increase in the cost of materials. This comes in addition to a housing market which is slowly starting to come off the boil.

Richard HunterHead of Markets, interactive investor

Brexit hangs over housebuilders

house with a a persimmon sign
Getty Images

More on Persimmon which has said 2018's pre-tax profits will be modestly ahead of market forecasts. Analysts are giving their views on the trading update.

Laith Khalaf, senior analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown, said:" Persimmon is still selling more homes at higher prices, but the rate of growth is slowing".

Brexit "looms large over the housebuilding sector" he said.

"[That's] because a disorderly withdrawal from the EU would impact the UK housing market. That’s particularly the case if the Bank of England felt it had to raise interest rates to defend sterling, which would increase mortgage rates and make buying a property even less affordable, without an adjustment to house prices," he said.

We are culpable over Persimmon pay deal, admits shareholder

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

While Aberdeen Standard's Euan Stirling believes it is right that Persimmon's chief executive is leaving, he is one of a number of shareholders who voted in favour of Jeff Fairburn's original share deal in 2012 that resulted in his bumper bonus.

He says: "We are quite happy to accept our culpability in that regard.

"But the environment has changed quite substantially and I think shareholders are now more happy to take a more strident view in the face of quite unacceptable remuneration outcomes."

Fairburn exit will help Persimmon regain trust

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

Persimmon boss refuses to answer questions about £75m bonus

The big news on Wednesday was the departure of Persimmon's chief executive Jeff Fairburn following a long-running row over his £75m bonus.

One of the most vocal critics of the pay day, Euan Stirling, head of stewardship at Aberdeen Standard Investment, says it is right that Mr Fairburn is leaving the housebuilder.

He tells the Today programme: "We and the board of Persimmon are keen to help the company to regain its position of trust and authority in society and I think the actions of the board in dismissing Mr Fairburn is a small but important step in that direction."

Persimmon 'embarrassment'

The World at One

BBC Radio 4

Labour MP Clive Betts tells the World at One that some of Persimmon's growth was at the hands of taxpayers, through the Help to Buy scheme.

He was being asked about the departure of the housebuilder's chief executive Jeff Fairburn after a row about this pay.

“In the end the embarrassment caught up with him,” Mr Bett said.

'The answer was no'

The World at One

BBC Radio 4

Mike Fox of Royal London Asset Management has been speaking to World at One about the departure of Jeff Fairburn, chief executive of housebuilder Persimmon.

In February Mr Fairburn agreed to cut his £100m share-based bonus to £75m.

Mr Fox said that "in the end" it was right for Mr Fairburn to leave.

"I think he was asked if he was prepared to reduce, again, the amount … even though he’s legally entitled to this amount he can say of his own choice that he will accept a lower amount, and I think the answer was no.

"He could have reduced it again ... there were options on the table that didn't have to end up in him leaving."