Henry Boot records 'resilient' half year performance in face of Brexit uncertainty

Jamie Boot, the chairman of Henry Boot Construction, with a portrait of the founder Henry Boot in the background. Picture Scott Merrylees
Jamie Boot, the chairman of Henry Boot Construction, with a portrait of the founder Henry Boot in the background. Picture Scott Merrylees
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HENRY Boot, the property investment and development company, said it had delivered a resilient performance over the half year, during a time of political uncertainty.

In the six months ended June 30, 2019, the company's profit before tax was £24.1m, which is eight per cent lower than the £26.2m recorded in the same period the year before.

Commenting on the results, chief executive John Sutcliffe said: "Once again, we are very pleased to report on another period of successful trading. 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.

He added: "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."

Commenting on outlook, Jamie Boot, the company's chairman, said: " We continue to trade well and in line with the board's expectations for 2019 and, at this early stage, and subject to an economically acceptable BREXIT resolution in October 2019, our expectations for 2020 remain unchanged."