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Henry Boot profit drops 59pc after land writedowns

Henry Boot today reported a 59 per cent fall in full year profits due to declining property values.

Pre-tax profit for the year to 31 December 2008 fell to £19.3 million from £46.5 million the year earlier as the groups’ property investment portfolio lost value.

Property writedowns and revaluation cost the company £22.4 million in the period as the UK property market soured.

The construction group, which develops and invests in UK properties said it would focus on further reducing its debt after bringing it down to £49.3 million from £70.9 million a year earlier.

Henry Boot chairman John Reis said: “Our broad mix of businesses and prudently geared balance sheet, allied to a cautious strategy, gives the board confidence that we will manage the next phase of the cycle successfully.”