Henry Boot ‘strong’ despite 42% revenue fall to £109m

Sheffield-based property investment and construction group Henry Boot plc said on Monday its revenue fell 42% to £108.7 million in the six months to June 30 “as all operations were impacted by CV-19 and H1 2019 benefited from the final stage of the TECA project, Aberdeen.”

Henry Boot said profit before tax fell 70% to £7.2 million “slightly ahead of our revised expectations and supported by our land promotion business.”

The company said it will make redundancies in its construction division.

Henry Boot declared an interim dividend of 2.2p, down from 3.7p, “which reflects our current financial position and confidence in our long-term markets.”

The company said it was encouraged that its H1 performance showed a slight improvement on its revised forecasts — and as a result, it will reinstate financial guidance for full-year 2020.

The Sheffield firm said it has a strong £1.4 billion pipeline with 74% in industrial and logistics, and the remainder in urban development.

Henry Boot’s shares rose as much as 4%.

Henry Boot CEO Tim Roberts said: “The first half of the year has proved to be very challenging for all of us, but with an agile recovery plan and a robust balance sheet Henry Boot remains in a strong position.

“Right from the beginning of this pandemic we have focused on our stakeholders’ wellbeing and protecting the liquidity of the group so we can come through this in the best possible way.

“While CV-19 has affected our interim results and led us to make difficult decisions to reshape and protect the business, we have seen clear improvements in our operations.

“As this momentum builds, we have been quick to secure selective long-term opportunities and make progress in our key markets – residential, industrial and urban development.

“We are prepared for uncertain times ahead but where we see good opportunities to invest, without taking undue risk, we will continue to take them.

“I would like to thank all of the group’s employees for their dedicated hard work during this unprecedented period, whose efforts have helped keep the business viable and produced a robust set of results, which are creditable given the circumstances we are in.”