Henry Boot revenue slips to £189m but dividend raised

Sheffield-based property investment and construction group Henry Boot plc said on Friday its profit before tax fell 8% to £24.1 million for the six months to June 30 — but the firm raised its intermim dividend 15.6% to 3.70p alongside what it called “resilient” results.

Henry Boot said revenue for the period fell slightly to £189 million from £196.2 million at the same stage last year and gross profit was 2.8% higher at £40.4 million.

Henry Boot chairman Jamie Boot said: “Business has been consistent across all of our segments, with strategic land and housebuilding, in particular, performing strongly as the UK housebuilding industry benefited from solid trading conditions and demand for much needed housing.

“We anticipate no change to these markets in the second half of the year.

“We completed and handed over TECA, our £333m conference centre scheme in Aberdeen, on time and within budget, shortly after the period end …”

Henry Boot CEO John Sutcliffe said: “A deal-driven business, such as Henry Boot, always shows a degree of variability in profits and to have achieved over £24m in profit before tax, given the uncertainties affecting the UK economy, is a very resilient result.

“Trading conditions in the first half have remained consistent with 2018 and all business streams performed well as we continued to deliver a significant number of high quality land, housing and commercial development opportunities.

“Hallam Land, in particular, had a strong half year. 

“After the period end, we completed and handed over The Event Complex Aberdeen (TECA), concluded on two investment property sales, exchanged contracts on a further two and acquired a majority shareholding in Starfish Commercial Limited, a small partnership homes contractor in the North of England.

“Trading in the second half has started well and we remain confident in meeting expectations for the full year, albeit some uncertainty remains regarding the UK’s exit from the EU and how this may affect future trading conditions.

“However, the opportunities we have do not change and we will be carrying little or no debt, from the disposal of assets held for sale, should any competitively priced assets become available to us.”