Boot predicts ‘quick return’ to normal trading

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Construction and property firm Henry Boot said it expects a quick return to normal trading following the Conservatives’ outright win at the General Election.

The Sheffield-based group said it saw a short term lack of decision making around the Election, especially within the public sector, which led to a slowdown in concluding transactions in the last couple of months.

“However, the strengthened position of the governing party leads us to expect a quick return to normalised activity levels,” chairman John Brown told shareholders at the AGM on Thursday.

“We therefore remain confident of meeting the board’s expectations for the full year.”

The group reported encouraging trading across all of its businesses since the beginning of 2015.

The firm said the redevelopment of the Terry’s Chocolate Factory in York made significant progress following the submission of detailed planning and listed building consent applications and the exchange of contracts for the conversion of the main listed factory building to provide over 150 luxury apartments.

Planning permission is expected to be secured in the middle of this year, enabling work to start in late 2015, with the first apartments being completed in the first half of 2016.

The firm reported high activity levels at its Hallam Land operation.

“We are promoting a land portfolio of over 140 sites amounting to over 10,000 acres,” said Mr Brown.