Shares rise 3% even though construction turnover fell below expectation.

Henry Boot, the quoted construction and property group, today revealed that pre-tax profit dropped 13% to £7.7m in the first six months of 2005.

However, the company said that this was because the 2004 interim figure (£8.9m) benefited from a £5m investment property revaluation undertaken under the International Financial Reporting Standards.

It said that as a result, the underlying rise in profit was therefore £2.9m or 75%. Shares rose 3% to 594p when the results were announced this morning.

Chairman John Reis said that Henry Boot’s construction turnover fell below expectation, although profit was maintained in the period. He said: “The 2004 result benefited from the settlement of some long outstanding accounts which were not repeated in 2005.”

“There was a slower release of prison alliance work and framework contracts to us than anticipated, but this was largely compensated for by general local authority work and existing prison, school and hospital workloads.”

Turnover in the first half more than doubled to £42.4m, and the board recommended an interim dividend of 4.9p a share, an increase of 11%.