Henry Boot profits up nearly 50 per cent

Jamie Boot
Jamie Boot

Henry Boot has become the latest construction company to announce an increase in profits in the wake of industry-wide post-Brexit concerns.

The property construction and development group reported a profit before tax of £20.8 million in the six months to 30 June 2016, up 48.6 per cent from £14m a year ago. Revenues surged from £79.2m to £107.3m over the same period.

Chairman Jamie Boot said the firm has not been affected post-Brexit and is still on course to post full year numbers “comfortably” ahead of market expectations.

He said: “I am very pleased to report that Henry Boot has performed strongly in the first half of 2016, concluding on some valuable strategic land sales in the period, and to see the larger commercial development schemes we have been preparing for some time are now finally on site.

“As announced on 8 June 2016, earlier than anticipated land sales, combined with continued progress on our commercial property developments meant that the Board concluded that profit before tax for the year ending 31 December 2016 would be comfortably ahead of market expectations at that time.

“The result of the EU referendum in June 2016 gave rise to widespread cautious predictions regarding future activity levels within the UK focused property and construction sectors. However, two months after the vote, the Board’s expectations detailed in the Company’s trading update on 8 June 2016 remain unchanged.

“Henry Boot PLC is inextricably connected to the UK property market, whether that be housebuilding, commercial development, construction or plant hire. Two months after the EU referendum, it is probably a little early to judge how the UK property market will react over the longer term, however, our experience is that the trading activity and any deals we had in progress are proceeding as envisaged and the future pipeline is coming to fruition as we would have expected.

“The completion of our commercial development pipeline in progress, largely already pre-let and/or pre-sold is likely to see the Group be cash generative over the next two years and, should the post referendum world prove to be more turbulent than we are experiencing at the moment, these internally generated funds should provide the resources to acquire competitively priced opportunities for the next cyclical growth phase.”

Earlier this week, Henry Boot reached an unconditional agreement with Aberdeen City Council for its new exhibition and conference centre, allowing Robertson Group to start work on the £333 million project.

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