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Henry Boot H1 results: Group 'ahead of expectations' as profit rises 49%

Henry Boot has said it is trading “ahead of expectations” after posting a 48.6 per cent increase in pre-tax profit in the first half of the year.

The firm said a combination of earlier-than-anticipated land sales and continued progress on commercial property developments meant its profit before tax for the full year would be “comfortably ahead” of expectations.

Profit before tax for the six months to 30 June 2016 was up to £20.8m from £14m a year earlier, while revenue rose to £107.3m from £79.2m over the same period.

Land sales at Marston Moretaine in Bedfordshire were completed during the first half of the year, increasing both turnover and cost of sales, but the company said turnover in construction had been “slower than anticipated” in H1.

However, the company added that it expected this turnover to be recovered in the second half of 2016.

In its property development arm, Henry Boot secured an unconditional development agreement with Aberdeen City Council for its £333m Aberdeen Conference Centre. Robertson will now start on site on the 800,000 sq ft scheme, with work set to be completed in 2019.

The development arm started eight new projects in H1, providing a total of more than 900,000 sq ft of space.

Schemes included 225,000 sq ft of warehousing for German automotive parts supplier Bilstein, and a 110,000 sq ft office building pre-let to WS Atkins.

In construction, contracts secured in H1 included the first phase of the Better Barnsley town centre redevelopment, worth £36m.

The group also secured a place on the new YORbuild2 framework, and won a contract to build a 60-apartment extra care facility in Newark, with work starting on site this month.

Overall, Henry Boot said that although it was “probably a little early to judge” the impact of the EU referendum, the firm remained confident it will meet expectations for the year ahead.

“Two months after the vote, the board’s expectations detailed in the company’s trading update on 8 June 2016 remain unchanged,” the firm said.

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