Contractor’s profit edges upwards in ’stable’ property market

General contractor Henry Boot has announced a £9.1 million half-year profit before tax for the six months ending June 2011.

The results mark a marginal increase from last year’s pre-tax profits over the same period, when £9 million was recorded. The company’s turnover was up around £12 million – from £55m in 2010 to £66.8m this year – and trading profits doubled from £5.8m to £11m in 2011.

Henry Boot chairman John Brown said he felt the property market had remained “stable but continues to be challenging”.

He said: “The housebuilding sector has continued to trade at about the same level as over the last two years and indications are that over the next year activity will not increase substantially.”

In February Henry Boot wiped out its debt by selling Ayr Central Shopping Centre for £33.8m as well as optioned land for 700 homes in Buckingham.

Brown said the impact of the sales had led to reduced borrowings over the 2011 half-year period. He said interest costs in the period were 55% lower at £0.5m.