Plant hire boosts Boot construction profits

Aaron Morby 7 years ago
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A strong year at Henry Boot plant hire business helped to lift pre-tax profits at the construction division 10% to £10m.

The firm said construction workloads were on the rise supported by the general economic recovery, although it warned contract margins remained tight, which meant turnover only edged up to £88m.

Within the division, plant hire delivered its best year since 2008. Turnover for the year increased by over 9% to £12.1m with the net margin up 1.9% to 10.8%., helping to deliver a £1.3m profit.

Across the group pre-tax profits increased 54% to £28.3m as turnover slipped back to £147m.

Henry Boot trading divisons
2014 2013
Profit Turnover Profit Turnover
Construction £10.1m £88m £9m £82m
Land development £13.1m £39m £11.1m £38m
Property development £4.6m £26m £2.3m loss £37m

Chairman John Brown said: “Henry Boot enters 2015 in great shape, with a portfolio of high quality opportunities to deliver growing shareholder returns. The 2015 financial year has started positively.”

But he warned that The planning process was tightening ahead of the general election.

Boot experienced delays in obtaining planning permission on several projects, in particular at the former Terry’s Chocolate Factory in York, where heads of terms are agreed for the sale of one of the listed buildings to a care home operator and with a residential developer for the conversion of the main listed factory building into apartments.

The firm said it anticipated that the outstanding planning issues will be resolved in the first half of 2015.

Boot also suffered a setback on its 56 acre mixed-use development in Skipton, North Yorkshire, with the refusal of planning permission for a foodstore and employment scheme.

“However, negotiations with planners are continuing to agree an acceptable development plan which we expect to be residential and employment based,” said the firm.

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