Boot “confident” for the future

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Construction group Henry Boot says it remains “quietly confident” about prospects for 2013.

The Banner Cross Hall group says, in a trading up-date for shareholders, that it is continuing to trade in line with expectations and is continuing to witness relative price stability that could result in positive developments.

“The housing market continues to improve across the country although there are still significant areas, particularly in the north, where the market remains challenging,” says the group.

“The Coalition Government has tried to alleviate mortgage difficulties for first time buyers which, in turn, should increase the confidence of the national house builders,” adds Boot.

Henry Boot says relaxation of planning regulation is continuing to have a beneficial impact on the planning system and is gradually making it easier to obtain new permissions, although getting planning approval is still frequently “painfully slow and cumbersome.”

The group says its Henry Boot Construction subsidiary has won enough orders to achieve its turnover target for the year and is confident it will also achieve its profit targets.

“While we are very pleased with this positive start to 2013, our market is still challenging and, therefore, we remain cautious regarding the amount of traditional construction work, at acceptable margins, arising in the future,” says the group.

Meanwhile, Boot is starting to reap the benefits of civil engineering opportunities, thanks to its supply chain agreement with Amey for work on the 25 year Sheffield Highways Private Finance Initiative scheme to improve the city’s road network.

Linked with that initiative, Boot is also building a new asphalt recycling plant in Sheffield for Aggregate Industries.