Henry Boot has increased its pre-tax profit by 10%, primarily because of improved performances in its housing and specialist construction divisions.
Boot's pre-tax profit increased from £12.2m to £13.4m for the year to 31 December 2001. Turnover increased £6.5m to £231.5m compared with 2000.

The average selling price in the group's housing division jumped £13,000 to £109,000. Henry Boot sold 713 homes last year, up from 651 in 2000.

Boot's specialist construction division, which offers fee contracting, design and build, fast-track fit-out, facilities management and rail maintenance, enjoyed its most profitable year since it was formed in 1988. But the group's building and civil engineering division had another disappointing year with problem contracts again hitting performance.

The firm said last year that it did not expect margins in this division to reach 1% for some time.

The group added that its training company struggled last year because of a shortage of apprentices.