Firm released improved interim results earlier this week

Henry Boot’s boss has said the firm is well-placed to ride out current economic turbulence, predicting resilience in the industrial market and land sales.

The Sheffield-based contractor and developer released its half-year results earlier this week, reporting £144.4m revenue for the six months to 30 June and profits approaching pre-covid levels.

Tim Roberts told Building the effect of rising energy prices has mostly been felt in the firm’s construction business, with the cost of diesel escalating.


Tim Roberts, chief executive of Henry Boot, says the firm will cope with the predicted recession next year

“Although those cost increases are high, when you then take those cost increases and apply them to our cost base as a group […] it’s not materially restricting the business,” he said, saying Henry Boot was experiencing cost inflation of roughly 10% across the entire group.

The firm has managed price rises by fixing as much cost as it can, with 96% of the construction businesses order book for this year negotiated at fixed cost or with inflation clauses.

“We know when we fix our costs, that we’re fixing them at a rate where we will still make money,” said Roberts.

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He said momentum was growing in the public sector, where Henry Boot gets the majority of its work.

Roberts said he expected strong sales of land to continue, with plots with planning in short supply that was attractive to national housebuilders.

He added that the industrial market had “definitely had a slowdown on the investment side” but that occupier demand remained strong.