Investor appetite undimmed by Brexit vote, according to infrastructure specialist

The boss of infrastructure investor John Laing has said overseas investor appetite for UK projects remains despite the Brexit vote.

Speaking on the BBC’s Today programme, John Laing chief executive Olivier Brousse said international players “still see the UK as a great venue for investment”.

Asked if appetite had dimmed after the EU referendum, he said: “I don’t think so. Obviously Brexit has created more uncertainty. But if there are new projects and new decisions by the government, investment will follow.”

However, Brousse urged Theresa May to commit to more infrastructure projects: “There are obvious needs for infrastructure plans. The population is growing and there is urbanisation and climate change. Not enough projects are being announced by the government. I’m hoping they’ll make decisions over the next few weeks.”

His comments come after Leo Quinn, the boss of the UK’s biggest builder Balfour Beatty, told Building Theresa May needs to come up with an infrastructure action plan by the end of the year – or risk threatening the industry’s ability to build new runways, power stations and rail links.

In half-year results this morning, regional developer Henry Boot became the latest firm to play down the impact of the EU referendum, saying its trading expectations for 2016 remain unchanged.

Henry Boot said development deals were progressing as expected, including its mammoth £333m Aberdeen exhibition centre, which went unconditional yesterday.

However, the firm said housebuilders had paused land buying after 23 June to review their development plans, although “some two months on we have seen some land buying confidence return, with appetite for smaller scheme sizes”.

In its results for the six months to June 2016, pre-tax profit rose almost 50% to £20.8m, up from £14m.