Boot to build on successful year

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Construction group Henry Boot is looking forward to starting work on what it says is an unprecedented number of profitable land and property development sites after a year in which profits rose by 37 per cent.

The Sheffield-based group says it is reaping the benefits of successful investments in land promotion and property development.

Both are areas of its business that are cyclical and deal driven and potentially offer increased returns for higher risk.

Examples of the successful strategy include the speculative redevelopment of the 27 acre former Terry’s Chocolate Factory site in York.

Boot is also involved in a scheme to build 4,500 homes in Leicestershire and a development in Exeter, the first of a fresh wave of new towns.

Banner Cross Hall-based Boot’s group finance director John Sutcliffe paid tribute to Boot’s workforce for the group’s performance.

“They have worked hard for five years in very difficult conditions to get us where we are,” said Mr Sutcliffe.

Chairman John Brown said 2013 had been “another year of strong progress” across the group.

“The new financial year has started well and house builders reporting so far in 2014 are painting an encouraging picture of increasing activity, good land availability and slowly rising prices.

“Add to that a stronger market for new property development and improving construction and plant activity levels and, provided that these trends continue, we remain confident that we can perform well in 2014 and beyond,” Mr Brown added.

Pre-tax profits have risen from £13.4 million in 2012 to £18.4 million on revenue up from £103.1 million to £153.8 million. Boot is recommending a total dividend of 5.10p, up 8.5 per cent on 2012.