Britain’s biggest housebuilder by market value, Persimmon plc, has reported record annual pre-tax profits of £495.4m.

Persimmon also announced the completion of the initial integration of Westbury, which it acquired in January for £643m. Some 500 Westbury staff have left the company and eight of the company’s 10 offices have been closed.

However, Persimmon chief executive John White said Westbury’s Space4 modular timber frame home business represented a “good opportunity” to work more closely with Westbury Partnerships and the government’s agenda regarding modern methods of construction.

Mr White said: “We believe that given the volume of homes produced by the enlarged Persimmon Group and by working closely with specialist Westbury Partnerships, we can begin to make good progress with Space4.”

Persimmon’s pre-tax profits for the year ended December 31, 2005 were up by 5.9% on 2004, while turnover grew by £16m to £2.29bn. It sold 12,636 homes in 2005, up 2% on a year ago.