Construction and property development business Henry Boot posted a rise in full-year profit on Friday as revenue increased and it hailed a good start to 2018.
In the year to the end of December 2017, pre-tax profit was up 40% to £55.4m on revenue of £408.5m, up 33% from the previous year. Earnings per share were 49% higher at 32.1p and the company proposed a final dividend of 5.20p, giving a total for the year of 8p, up 14%. Meanwhile, net asset value per share rose 15% to 203p.
The group said its "record" financial performance was mostly due to developments schemes being delivered more quickly than it originally expected. Revenue for the year was more than twice what it achieved in 2015 as it delivered products such as 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.
Henry 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 our 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."
At 1300 GMT, the shares
were up 0.8% to 305.40p.
Numis said the results were "strong", with revenue ahead of its £404m estimate and pre-tax profit higher than the £54m it had pencilled in.
"With strong demand for consented residential land and the group in a preferred position in regards to £1bn of property development opportunities, we believe that the risk to forecasts is to the upside
"However, with the shares up over 50% since the start of 2017, we retain our hold recommendation on valuation grounds."