Sheffield-based property investment and construction group Henry Boot plc said it started the year well and is trading in line with expectations.
The firm described market expectations as “the average of current analyst consensus of £37.8m profit before tax, comprising three forecasts from Numis, Peel Hunt and Panmure Gordon.”
Henry Boot said in an AGM trading statement: “The group’s three key markets, Industrial & Logistics (I&L), Residential and Urban Development are showing signs of recovery.
“The I&L market remains resilient, supported by rental growth, and housebuilders are selectively buying land, with the group recently selling, and receiving offers for a number of sites.
“House buyers are returning to the market after a downturn in demand from Q4 22, although the selling season through Spring and Summer remains important.
“Hallam Land Management (HLM) has begun the year well, selling 1,900 plots.
“Following a pause from buying land at the end of 2022, there are signs of housebuilders returning to the market, with selective acquisitions and encouraging levels of interest in HLM’s portfolio of prime plots …
“In relation to the £106m investment portfolio, values are beginning to stabilise.
“After making well timed accretive sales in 2022, the group will be patient in growing the portfolio to the strategic target of £150m.
“This will primarily be achieved by retaining completed developments that meet the investment criteria and by acquiring investments with future redevelopment potential.”
Henry Boot CEO Tim Roberts said: “We have started the year well and following the uncertain economic backdrop to the final quarter of 2022, there are growing signs of recovery in our three key markets.
“We expect this to continue, and for us to have a busy second half of the year. We also continue to make progress against our medium-term strategic targets.”