Henry Boot starts bringing workers off furlough

Aaron Morby 2 weeks ago
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Henry Boot group has started to lift its staff out of furlough after bringing all construction and house building sites back into operation.

Tim Roberts, Boot CEO, says the firms is well placed to cope with Covid disruption this year
Tim Roberts, Boot CEO, says the firms is well placed to cope with Covid disruption this year

Chief executive officer, Tim Roberts said the business was well placed to weather the storm after delivering a solid performance last year with pre-tax profit slightly ahead at £49m on revenue of £380m.

He said the firm had cut staff bonuses by 50% and cut main board salaries by 20% to help conserve cash.

Roberts said: “There is no doubt that COVID-19 has caused significant economic and social disruption, and as such is materially affecting the group’s near-term trading.

“However, with no debt, cash in the bank, and our business cutting out unnecessary expenditure, coupled with reducing activity, we have a clear and effective plan to get through these uncertain times.”

He added that following the pause in construction activity, all of Boot’s construction sites and plant sales centres were now open, adhering to the strict precautions.

Roberts added that nearly all Boot’s committed developments had also been pre-funded or pre-let.

He said that while a minority of the firm’s workforce have been furloughed, their pay had been topped up to 100%.

Roberts said: “In recent weeks, we have started to reduce the number of people furloughed as we adapt to new working ways and productivity increases.”

Looking ahead Roberts said: “Long term, we have extensive operational skills, which we believe will continue to provide valued services to customers in key markets such as residential, manufacturing and logistics and urban development.

“We also have a construction business with a bias to public sector investment in areas such as health, education and urban regeneration. These are all sustainable markets, so we also have a firm eye on the future success of the business.”

Last year the construction arm delivered profits of £9.4m (2018: £9.2m) and was marginally ahead of expectations in terms of both turnover up to £114m and profit margin.

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