Boot shines with record profits up 40%

Aaron Morby 6 years ago

Henry Boot’s mixed model of development, land sales and construction delivered record results last year.

Boot says broadly based operating model will deliver steady growth
Boot says broadly based operating model will deliver steady growth

Revenue exceeded £400m in the year, up more than a third and now more than double that achieved two years ago. This fed through to a 40% rise in pre-tax profit to £55m driven by property development and land sales to house builders.

Overall group operating margins rose to 13.7%.

The firm’s development projects at the new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, the residential conversion of the former Terry’s Chocolate Factory and the extension of its Markham Vale industrial scheme drove profits.

Boot also sold 15 strategic land sites, delivered over £60m of construction work, £17m of plant hire sales and almost £25m of new house sales through its joint venture house builder, Stonebridge Homes.

Chairman Jamie Boot said: “We have made a good start to the 2018 financial year, having already concluded a number of land sales.

“In addition, we have a strong pipeline of construction work, commercial development projects and strategic land sites working through the marketing process, on which to capitalise through the year.

“Our focus consequently continues to be on the profitable delivery of these schemes and the value they will create for all our stakeholders. I look forward to reporting on our success in doing this through 2018 and beyond.”

He added that in the longer term the commercial development scheme pipeline now exceeded £1bn for the first time.

“Our strategic land acreage increased by over 10% to more than 13,000 acres, after taking account of the acreage sold during the year.

“We also added some 2,200 plots to our inventory of plots to sell, having obtained planning permission on some 4,500 plots during the year.

“The scale and number of these sites and schemes, held as inventory, are once again at record levels, giving us confidence that we can continue to deliver sustainable returns to our stakeholders well into the future.”

Henry Boot Construction started 2018 with the healthiest order book seen in recent years. But the firm said it remained cautious, particularly in the medium to long term, regarding the possible reduction in construction activity due to market uncertainty associated with exiting the EU, price pressures on imported materials associated with exchange rate volatility and other labour and supply chain price pressures.

Construction operating profits decreased slightly to £9.6m after improved results from plant hire, following the acquisition of the Leicester depots, and Road Link were offset by lower construction returns due to delayed starts.


Henry Boot trading division
Division Operating profit Revenue
2017 2016 2017 2016
Construction £9.6m £10.3m £89m £84m
Development £30.4m £15.1m £251m £176m
Land £23.2m £18.6m £76m £51m

Property investment and development produced a significantly improved operating profit of £30.4m (2016: £15.1m) arising from a full year’s activity on the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, final residential sales from the York Chocolate Factory conversion and continuing contributions from our Markham Vale industrial development.

Land promotion operating profit also showed a strong performance, increasing to £23.2m (2016: £18.6m) as Boot disposed of 2,169 residential plots during the year (2016: 1,609).

Boot said that the movements within the group’s mix of business streams demonstrated the nature of deal-driven property and land promotion businesses, dependent upon demand from the major house builders but combined with the relatively stable returns from construction.

This continues to demonstrate the benefits of our broadly based operating model, working together to the benefit of our group, he added.


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