Construction market shows improvement

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Construction and property investment company Henry Boot says it is seeing slow improvement throughout its UK property markets.

The Sheffield group says in its interim management statement to shareholders that trading has been in line with expectations.

Banner Cross Hall-based Boot says the Government’s moves to help house buyers appears to be having a significant impact and it expects the market for land for new homes will continue to strengthen.

The company says its total land holdings have risen to more than 9,700 acres and the streamlining of planning regulations has resulted in a marked improvement on the process of securing permission for new developments.

Highlights for the company include the 200 acre Markham Vale business park, which it is developing developed in partnership with Derbyshire County Council at junction 29A of the M1. Work has started at Markham Vale on a 34,000 sq ft food processing unit, a petrol station and drive-thru Starbucks, meanwhile Boot expects to exchange contracts soon on a further 20,000 sq ft manufacturing unit and has agreed terms on a 50,000 sq ft manufacturing facility and a pub/restaurant.

Boot has secured planning permission for a range of residential, office and leisure uses for the listed former Terry’s chocolate factory in York, which it acquired earlier in the year and is in detailed negotiations with a number of different operators to take the 400,000 sq ft development forward.

The company says it expects construction business will marginally exceed its turnover, meet its profit targets and secure 60 per cent of its budgeted turnover for 2014 by the end of the year.