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Road PFI lifts Henry Boot

FINANCE

INCOME from a Private Finance Initiative deal to operate the A69 road offset less work than expected from a Home Office prison framework at Henry Boot in the first half of 2005.

Construction provided more than £16 million of Boot's turnover in the first half of 2005 with plant and PFI, which are also part of the construction arm, each providing about half the remaining work.

Boot's finance director Tony Cooper said: 'There was a slower release of work from frameworks but we did benefit from one or two one-off claims being settled last year.'

The firm has separated construction and property work for the first time due to new IFRS accountancy rules.

Mr Cooper said: 'We are happy to keep construction at about £45 million a year. We are risk-averse and have rather drawn our horns in.' Henry Boot's construction arm operates mainly in Yorkshire and Lancashire on prisons, schools, hospitals and general local authority work.

Henry Boot also carries out maintenance on the A69 in Cumbria and Northumberland.

At the group's plant arm, hire rates were all up on a year ago, with the firm's power tool centres all in profit.