Henry Boot’s profits rise as market recovers

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PROPERTY investment and development company Henry Boot yesterday revealed that the commercial development market had reached its highest rate of activity for six years.

The company revealed that its profit before tax increased by 81 per cent to £13.4m in the half year to June 30, as the UK economy shows signs of a sustainable recovery.

The Sheffield-based company’s chairman, John Brown, said the firm had reported another strong set of results.

He added: “The combination of this increased level of commercial development, our strategic land sites..and the solid returns from the construction segment should strongly support growing shareholder returns into 2015 and beyond.

“We currently anticipate trading profits including revaluation gains to exceed the board’s initial expectations for the year.”

The company said that the second phase of the conversion of a former wire mill in Huddersfield to create clinical and office space, which is being carried out in partnership with Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, will be completed at the end of this year.

In a statement, the company said: “In York we are making good progress with the redevelopment of the former Terry’s Chocolate Factory following our purchase and onward sale of the part of the site, with residential consent, to David Wilson Homes in 2013. Terms are now agreed with a specialist residential developer to jointly convert the multi-storey factory building into more than 150 apartments. Sale terms have recently been finalised with a care home operator to convert the former headquarters building into an assisted living operation. These developments, and the interest we have from hotel operators for the balance of the site, are all conditional upon securing detailed planning permission.”

The company hopes to start work on the site in 2015.