There was a lack of land sales in the first half, as schemes work through planning.
“We have an unprecedented number of strategic land sites working through the recently revised planning process,” said chairman John Brown. “As anticipated, we did not conclude any material land sales in the first half of 2012, however, we continued to invest heavily and added over 700 acres to our land portfolio. Over the next year we are in a position to market several consented sites which, given the slightly improving outlook for the housing market, should see good demand.”
Brown described the results as “solid”, saying that the markets Henry Boot operates in have remained challenging throughout the period. The group continues to trade in line with board expectations for the year as a whole.
He said that the strength of the balance sheet and ability to commit funding to land and property development without recourse to specific external funds is resulting in a significant uplift in opportunities. “These sites will serve to increase our profit generation capability through the next few years but more so if markets improve more quickly than we currently anticipate,” he said.