Chairman John Brown said: “We have made a strong start to 2013 across all our businesses. Plant and construction activity is ahead of 2012.
“We have geared up our balance sheet to take advantage of the nascent recovery, investing in the business opportunities that will generate growing shareholder returns.
“The value of our typical contract is relatively low and we are undertaking a growing proportion of refurbishment work.
“At the end of 2012 we had contracted over 70% (2011: 60%) of our budget workload for 2013, the best position achieved for some years.”
The positive noises came despite Henry Boot reporting a drop in pre-teax profit for the years to December 31 2012 to £13.9m from £16.1m last time on turnover down to £103m from £114m.
Henry Boot does not break-down performance between divisions.
But its construction report stated: “Our continued policy of obtaining a good balance of work across a wide range of construction sectors, coupled with our reputation for the delivery of high quality projects, has enabled us to maintain our activity and margin levels in the public sector with partnering and framework agreements in the social housing, health, education and custodial sectors.
“At the same time, the slight improvement in the private sector has seen us increasing our involvement there with contracts in the retail, industrial, commercial and leisure sectors.”