Henry Boot anticipates ‘challenging year’ but TECA remains on track

Henry Boot has today assured that work on Aberdeen’s new £333 million event complex remains on target for completion by the summer as the construction group predicted a “challenging” year for the UK property sector.

The Event Complex Aberdeen, the replacement for the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC), is being delivered by the group in partnership with Aberdeen City Council.

The development will create 48,000 square metres of multi-purpose event space, conference and exhibition halls, a stunning 12,500 seat arena, spacious hospitality boxes, a premium restaurant and 350 hotel beds.

Unveiling its preliminary results for 2018, Henry Boot said the project “remains within cost budget and on time to open in summer 2019”.

Although the company said pre-tax profit fell to £48.6m last year from £55.4m in 2017 and revenue dropped to £397.1m from £408.5m, it still regarded 2018 as having delivered a strong performance.  Net debt reduced to £18.4m from £29m.

Nick Harris, director and head of Henry Boot Developments’ (HBD) Glasgow office, said the division had delivered a “robust performance is underpinned by our long-term, strategic approach to development, and the talent and ambition within our team”.

He said: “2018 was another great year for the Glasgow office, with TECA - our joint venture with Aberdeen City Council - progressing apace, due to complete this summer.

“We look forward to further building our diverse development pipeline, which includes both residential and commercial projects, drawing on our strong financial backing and reputation for delivery.”

Looking ahead, chairman Jamie Boot said: “The key strategic ethos of Henry Boot is to create long term value and sustainable growth for our stakeholders by financially empowering and commercially developing our people. In 2018 we continued this journey as we delivered yet another strong financial performance, while replenishing the longer-term property development opportunities within the business.

“’We anticipate that 2019 will be a challenging year, as the UK real estate sector adapts to the marketplace following the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

“Nevertheless, I remain confident that we will achieve sector-leading results, despite the challenges we face, as we continue to build an extensive pipeline of opportunities in each of our businesses.”

Chief executive officer John Sutcliffe added: “We continue to take a long-term strategic approach to land promotion and property development while at the same time focusing on the delivery of the existing pipeline which should enable us to produce good results for the years ahead.

“2019 has started well throughout the group and will see us delivering significant schemes across the whole spectrum of our strategic land, property investment and development, housebuilding and construction businesses.”

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