Category Archives: Persimmon

Pay row at Persimmon over Director’s share incentive plan

Jeff Fairburn 2sThe Daily Mail reported this week that three Persimmon directors are in line to receive a staggering £100 million pay windfall. This is part of a £400 million bonus pot linked to a long-term incentive plan equating to around 10% of Persimmon’s market value.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATo qualify for the huge payout, Persimmon must give shareholders 620p in dividends between now and 2021. The rewards plan 2012 – around 30million shares in Persimmon, will pay out to several directors. Chief executive Jeff Fairburn, finance director Mike Killoran and southern regional director Nigel Greenaway all stand to share around £100 million. To qualify for the payment, Persimmon must pay certain dividend amounts by the end of 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021. For 2015, the required amount is 170p. The firm has already declared dividends of 145p and has announced an intention to pay 95p in 2015. So job done for the first tranch of shares! If any biennial target is missed the scheme folds, although they will be able to keep any shares already secured from achieving earlier targets, but they will have to pay to get their shares. If all the targets are met by 2021, they get the shares for free.

Persimmon say the scheme was drawn up when the share price was 620p and that the directors would have to double the size of the company in ten years to benefit. A spokesman for Persimmon told the Daily Mail:

The analysis simply assumes that the share price in 2021 will be the same as it is today and ignores the challenge of returning £1.9billion to shareholders, while simultaneously growing the business to deliver an increase in the ex-dividend share price performance period of almost ten years……..This is a long term plan which is designed to drive outperformance through the housing cycle and there remains a very long way to go”

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Persimmon pulls out of South Wales valleys

Picky Persimmon pulls plug on plots planned north of Pontardawe to Pontypridd.

House builder Persimmon, has announced it is to stop building new homes in parts of south Wales saying it does not make enough profit on developments north of Pontypridd because of lower selling prices. The company builds around 1,000 homes a year in Wales, has now confirmed that their Coed Dyffryn development in Aberdare, will be its last in the valleys

Persimmon has introduced what it refers to as a “snowline” – the point at which nothing grows because of perpetual snow and ice – running across south Wales on a level with Pontypridd. Their “snowline” is from Pontardawe to the west to Pontypool in the east. Persimmon said it has stopped buying any land in this area, because it says it cannot make sufficient profit due to the comparatively low selling price. A three-bedroom home on a development in the valleys would be priced at around £120,000 but the same house would sell for £160,000 nearer to Cardiff, Newport or Swansea.

Persimmon Snowline1

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Persimmon Homes profits are up but not the quality of their homes

Persimmon HomesPersimmon Homes buyers Mr and Mrs D Barlow of Harleston in Norfolk moved into their new home in November 2012 and began to notice problems “within hours.” Having written a letter to the Daily Mail to warn others they said:

“Persimmon has reported record profits, might some of this have been achieved by reducing the quality of their buildings”   “The clean-up after construction left a lot to be desired. The paintwork had been damaged, the front door didn’t fit and an upstairs window had a gap so large you get your fingers in it.”

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Persimmon escape prosecution after four-year-old boy died in defective new home

National house builder Persimmon, charged after a four-year-old boy was crushed by a fireplace fitted in one of their new homes, have escaped further action due to “inconsistencies” in the inquiry. 

Matthew Green, died from chest injuries when the fireplace stone mantel fell on him at the Persimmon-built family home in Towcester on 15 October 2005. He was taken to Northampton General Hospital by air ambulance, but later died from his injuries. 

Persimmon escape prosecution after the four-year-old boy died due to a defect in a new home they built.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) charged Persimmon Homes with a health and safety breach, which the company denied. An HSE spokesman confirmed “the charge against Persimmon has been dropped. It emerged there were inconsistencies in the way HSE had treated Persimmon Homes compared to other companies who had had fireplaces installed by Stonemason KD Childs. The decision was therefore taken to withdraw the charges against Persimmon Homes.” 

Matthew’s parents said they were “at a loss to understand” and felt “justice has not been achieved”. 
Kristian Childs, whose company KD Childs of Northampton fitted the fireplace, pleaded guilty in April 2012 at Northampton Crown Court. The court heard the fireplace was held in place with small patches of mortar, rather than proper metal fixings, and it came away from the wall. In June 2013 Mr Childs was fined £7,500 and also ordered to pay £2,500 costs in June 2013.

Speaking after the sentencing hearing, Alan Craddock, head of operations for the HSE’s Midlands construction division, said:

“This was a tragic incident, made so much worse by the fact it could have been so easily prevented. Mr Childs was well aware of the risks of falling fireplaces yet failed to take the correct steps to ensure the fireplace he fitted was safe, with appalling consequences.” 

A statement from the Green family said:

“We have been fighting for justice for Matthew for over seven years and major inconsistencies in the way in which HSE have investigated this case have ultimately led to this case being dropped. While we are grateful to HSE for pursuing the responsible parties, we do feel that had this been investigated in a different way then the charges against Persimmon Homes would not have been dropped. We will never get over the needless and preventable death of our son and do not feel that justice has in any way been achieved by this outcome.” 

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Jeff Fairburn, Persimmon CEO e mail address is taken down

Jeff Fairburn 2sThe e mail address of Persimmon CEO Jeff Fairburn has been taken down. Previously you could write to him using jeff.fairburn@persimmonhomes.com now this is returned undeliverable. Let’s face it, if you are having ongoing problems with any new home the top man in charge needs to know. Otherwise how can company policy change and evolve? How can quality and service improve? As Persimmon Group CEO, Fairburn receives a salary of around £2million a year and should care about any problem his company’s customers have with the homes they build or the staff they employ.

If you get no joy from their regional office Managing Director, you should be able to escalate your complaint to the CEO. Now anyone wishing to do this is directed to his PA Alison Eastwood who customers can e mail using: alison.eastwood@persimmonhomes.com. But be warned, I have been told she will just refer you back to the regional office member of staff who you were having problems with in the first place!

This really does tell you everything you need to know, not only about the company, but also the man himself. Hiding behind his PA. His predecessor Mike Farley, was always accessible directly by e mail and even if he did nothing, buyers could at least tell him what they think about their new Persimmon home. Even the Persimmon’s own shareholders cannot e mail him now! 

Perhaps it all got too much that Fairburn’s Inbox was full each day with 1000’s of disgruntled purchasers telling him about their Persimmon new home woes!

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As the NHBC publish the 2013 Quality Award winners its another successful year for Barratt and a disaster for Persimmon Homes

The NHBC has just announced the winners of their 2013 Pride in the Job Quality Awards. From around 13,000 site managers, just 400 won Quality Awards, being short-listed to go forward to the next round, the Seal of Excellence awards. 

The NHBC’s Pride in the Job Awards has nowNHBC PIJOB been running for 32 years, and continues to recognise the UK’s best site managers, building better quality new homes on well-managed sites. The NHBC confirm that “a Pride in the Job award is the highest industry accolade a site manager can receive, most importantly, homeowners who buy a Pride in the Job award-winning home benefit from a high quality product” 

You would think that given the prestige and recognition of quality construction that every house builder would be actively striving to improve quality to win as many awards as they can. But you would be wrong. Unfortunately, year on year many of Britain’s largest house builders pay little more than lip-service to improving the quality of their product and this is reflected in the low number of NHBC Quality Awards they win each year. Our sister website, brand-newhomes.co.uk, publishes league tables for the awards every year, in addition to listing the number of homes each builder actually builds per Quality Award won. 

Whilst Barratt, which includes David Wilson Homes, over the last six years increased their share of awards every year, winning 96 Quality Awards in 2013 up 31% on their total last year, most of the other national listed house builders Taylor Wimpey excepted, win significantly few awards. Especially considering the number of sites they have and the total number of new homes they build each year. 

Whether it is housing boom or a period of recession would appear to have any effect as the number of awards won each year is mostly near the average over the last six years. 

However whilst most house builders win a similar percentage of the total awards to their percentage of the national total of new homes built last year, one house builder bucks the trend, Persimmon Homes. 

In 2013, Persimmon site managers won just nine NHBC Pride in the Job Quality Awards with a further four being won by subsidiary Charles Church. This represents just 3.2% of the total NHBC Quality Awards in 2013, from a company that built 8.5% of the nation’s new homes last year. Worse still, this years total is a massive fall of 38% on the meagre total of 21 Quality Awards Persimmon’s site managers won last year. 

You would think that new home buyers would be mindful of quality when deciding which builder to buy a new home from. However, despite their lack of Quality Awards, Persimmon have managed to increase the number of homes they sold, with profits up by 52% in 2012, due in part to a 6% uplift in the average selling price of their homes. 

To put this into perspective, new home buyers are nearly six times more likely to buy a Quality Award winning home from Barratt than they are from Persimmon. In addition Barratt have been rated 5 stars in the HBF customer satisfaction survey for the last four years, whereas Persimmon have only ever achieved a 4 star rating. 

With the new home industry ever keen to dispel the terrible reputation it has for building new homes riddled with preventable defects, it is surprising that these benchmarks of quality are not considered more by every prospective new home buyer. At the end of the day there is a choice and as the table below indicates you have a better chance of a quality buying a Barratt home than you do buying Persimmon, which may not have been the case ten years ago.

Housebuilder

Total homes built in 2012

Percentage of overall number

Number of quality awards 2013

Percentage of total awards

Average awards last 6 years

Number of new homes built per award

Barratt

12,637

11%

96

24%

70

131

Taylor Wimpey

10,886

9.4%

68

17%

51

160

Bellway

5,526

5%

27

7%

20

193

Redrow

2,458

2%

12

3%

11

204

Crest Nich.

1,882

1.6%

7

1.7%

10

269

Berkeley

3,712

3.2%

10

2.5%

8

371

Linden

3,039

2.6%

7

1.7%

4

506

Bovis

2,355

2%

4

1%

4

588

Persimmon

9,903

8.5%

13

3.2%

25

761

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