Henry Boot upbeat in tough markets

Property developer Henry Boot said it was on track to meet expectations in a market that was challenging but stable.

Property developer Henry Boot said it was on track to meet expectations in a market that was challenging but stable.

The firm said its operational management teams continued to be very busy bringing forward land, construction and development opportunities.

Its construction arm expects to marginally exceed budgeted turnover for 2012 despite depressed general activity and is hopeful of securing approximately 60% of budgeted turnover for 2013 by the end of 2012.

"Whilst this is in line with expectations in the current competitive construction market, we remain cautious regarding the availability of traditional construction work, at an acceptable margin," the firm warned.

Hallam Land, the company's strategic land promotion business, had a very successful period in terms of planning success, Boot said, giving it a record number of consented sites available for disposal.

"All of these sites are being, or are about to be marketed, and a number of them are already the subject of agreed terms," it said in a statement.

"In addition, we have large strategic sites at Bridgwater and Exeter where already consented land will be sold over a longer time frame."

As a result of land trading during the period the firm's strategic land portfolio increased to 9,069 acres.

Of this, 1,833 acres are owned, 3,513 acres are held under option and 3,723 acres are held under agency agreements.

Of this total acreage, 21.4% has either planning permissions or planning allocations.

The positive tone impressed investors who had pushed shares up 5.3% by 14:30.

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