Property and land disposals have wiped out Henry Boot’s debts and the firm has returned to profit

Yorkshire based Henry Boot reported a positive set of results today, for the financial year ending 31 December 2010, which showed a profit for the year of £18.9m, compared to a loss of £11.9m in 2009. Turnover was also up, to £131.9m in 2010, from £116.5m in 2009.

Post the financial year end, Henry Boot sold the Ayr Central Shopping Centre to raise a total of £33.8m, wiping out its debts in the process and putting the firm on a much stronger financial footing.

Commenting on the results, John Reis, Henry Boot chairman, said: “I am pleased to report a significantly improved set of results for the year ended 31 December 2010, particularly given the continued challenging market conditions prevailing in the UK property and construction markets during the period. The construction and property investment income streams provide steady profits and cashflows, which underpin our performance, despite the reduction in the more cyclical development and land profits. However, I continue to believe that the recovery will be patchy and relatively long and drawn out..”

Post the firm’s asset disposals, it will target investments in land and property development. Reis added: “We have also succeeded in our previously stated aim to release capital by completing developments in progress and disposing of certain assets in the portfolio to reduce debt. We are now debt free, which gives us considerable flexibility going forward to invest in land and property development without recourse to expensive funding sources.”