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Persimmon Plc Trading Update (08 July 2008)

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The first six months of this year have undoubtedly been the most challenging period in Persimmon's recent history. In our Interim Management Statement on 24 April this year we reported that there had been a further deterioration in market conditions from the beginning of April. These poorer market conditions have continued. The significantly reduced availability of mortgage funds and a reduction in consumer confidence is restricting the level of sales activity and the volume of total housing transactions across all markets in the UK.

Consequently, our results for the six months to 30 June 2008 reflect this more difficult market. Legal completions achieved were down by 31% during the period to 5,501 at an average selling price of c. £181,500 (H1 2007: £189,255). Total sales revenue for the period was £1 billion, a reduction of 34% on the first half of last year.

As previously reported margins have been under increasing pressure as a result of this significant downturn in the market. We expect that the underlying operating margin (before goodwill impairment and exceptional costs) for the first half will be c. 14% (H1 2007: 20.8%). This reflects the many pressures we have experienced in the market since autumn 2007, to which we have been responding.

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