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Henry Boot construction margin tops 10%

Pre-tax profit at developer and construction firm Henry Boot jumped 40 per cent to £55.4m in 2017, with the operating margin for its construction arm topping 10 per cent.

The firm’s construction arm, which includes civil engineering, made a £9.6m operating profit on revenue of £89.3m, giving the division a 10.7 per cent operating margin.

Most of the firm’s external construction work is on regeneration schemes and public sector building, and the firm said its profit for the year ending 31 December 2017 exceeded its targets.

It is currently working on the £35m first phase of the Better Barnsley town regeneration and also secured places on the government’s Education and Skills Funding Agency (‘ESFA’) £8bn framework. The firm is also developing Manchester’s £250m Kampus development in joint venture with Capital & Centric.

Turnover for the group was up 33 per cent for 2017 to £408.5m from £306.8m in 2016.

Chief executive John Sutcliffe said: “2017 delivered a record financial performance, primarily due to development schemes being delivered more quickly than we initially anticipated.

“As a result, profit before tax and earnings per share increased by 40 per cent and 49 per cent respectively, and we were able to more than replenish our portfolio of future opportunities during the year.”

Chairman Jamie Boot (pictured) said: “We have made a good start to the 2018 financial year, having already concluded a number of land sales.

“In addition, we have a strong pipeline of construction work, commercial development projects and strategic land sites working through the marketing process, on which to capitalise through the year.”

The firm said its construction order book was the “healthiest” it had held for a number of years, but it was concerned leaving the EU could reduce construction activity and increase the cost of imported materials.

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