Henry Boot says economy has ‘turned a corner’

Henry Boot
Economy now flying says Henry Boot

Construction group Henry Boot believes the economy has “turned a corner” and said demand remained resilient.

Chief executive Tim Roberts said this resilience enabled the company to “perform relatively well against a backdrop of a slowing economy, rising interest rates, high inflation and decreasing volumes in our key markets.”

He admitted the firm is “not immune from the challenges that the UK economy presents to the near-term trading environment”. As previously reported, it expects a lag in the year ahead.

“However, the outlook for both inflation and interest rates is improving and it’s beginning to feel as though the UK economy has turned a corner, with recent reductions in mortgage rates also pointing towards a hopefully brighter future,” he said.

The company remains confident in achieving its medium term growth and return targets, as reflected in a 10% dividend increase.

Henry Boot posted a  profit before tax of £37.3m to the end of December (2022: £45.6m) and underlying profit¹ of £36.7m (2022: £56.1m), in line with market expectations.

Revenue came in  5.3% higher at £359.4m (2022: £341.4m) driven by land disposals, property development and housing completions.

There is a proposed final dividend of 4.40p (2022: 4.00p), an increase of 10%, in line with a progressive dividend policy, bringing the total dividend for the year to 7.33p (2022: 6.66p).

The construction segment achieved turnover of £99.5m (2022: £128.6m) in a challenging market and remained profitable, achieving an operating profit of £6.5m (2022: £12.1m).

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