Construction group steps into big league as turnover increases 20% to over £100m.

Property and construction group Henry Boot has predicted another record year for its building arm after posting a 30% hike in pre-tax profits in 2005.

The firm reported pre-tax earnings of £30.2m, compared to £23.2 in 2005, on turnover of £101.2m, up 20% from £84.3m. Earnings per share rose to 78.2p from 64.6p in 2004.

John Reis, chairman, said: "Our company continued to grow from strength to strength in 2005. Our property development operation was able to benefit from some outstanding sale opportunities. Our land trading company achieved a record trading performance. Our construction business exceeded its profit before tax target, and a record performance was achieved by our Plant Hire activity."

Key development projects for the company include Ayr Central, a 220,000 sq ft retail development; Markham Vale, a 200 acre industrial warehouse, distribution and office scheme due to commence shortly off the M1 in Derbyshire; Smithdown Retail Centre, a smaller retail scheme in Liverpool; a further phase at Clifton Moor Retail park, York; Wharf Retail Park in Grimsby town centre; and Priory Park, a leading commercial, industrial and speciality retail centre in Hull.