Henry Boot reports strong start

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Construction and property firm Henry Boot said annual profits will be “comfortably ahead” of market expectations and 2015 has started well across all of the group’s businesses.

The Sheffield-based group said that seven land sales brought a satisfactory conclusion to 2014.

The group said it saw particular growth in its plant, construction and jointly owned house builder businesses.

Analysts believe that the housing market stimulus provided by the Government’s stamp duty reforms, which were announced late last year, should result in a pick-up in demand from house builders,

Analyst Nick Spoliar at WH Ireland said: “This morning’s update reveals that after a strong December, the outcome for the year is well ahead of the already-upgraded forecasts.

“This is an impressive outcome which we attribute to a strong operating model combined with a meaningful dose of conservatism on the company’s part.

“While doubtless some of the extra is accounted for by valuation uplift,not included in our forecast, there is fundamental upside as well.”

He added that the group’s markets remain on a very good footing and despite the uncertainties of the May general election, the fundamentals for the land business remain very strong.