Construction and property firm Henry Boot said it has entered 2015 in “great shape” following a 54 per leap in profits last year, which it described as its best financial result since the downturn in 2007.
The Sheffield-based group said trading across all parts of the business was very encouraging in 2014 as the UK economy steadily recovers.
In particular, it saw commercial development risk reduce through 2014 as tenant demand, investor appetite and yields on completed schemes all improved.
It said strategic land markets also remained very buoyant in 2014 as UK house builders continued to restock their land banks.
Chairman John Brown said: “We sense that the planning system is beginning to tighten as we approach the General Election in May 2015, and the major house builders are moving to replenish, rather than rebuild, their land portfolios.
“The construction segment, including Road Link (A69), once again performed well; our plant business had a record year for profit and construction workloads are on an improving trend supported by the general economic recovery, although contract margins remain tight.”
The group said the UK election process may slightly dampen enthusiasm early in the year, but by the second half, it expects the business to create shareholder value.
Pre-tax profits rose 54 per cent to £28.3m in the year to December 31.