A pre-close trading update from construction and property developer Henry Boot (BHY) is proving one of the better news stories on a day when the UK markets are down across the board. The 299.1 million surges 3.9% to 226.5p after informing investors that year-end results on 24 March will be slightly ahead of expectations on the back of a very busy December.
Sheffield-based Boot is in the business of acquiring, developing, managing or selling investment properties, sources and it acquires land, promotes planning consents and service constructors with plant equipment, runs its PFI project and refurbishes and constructs buildings.
A busy December from a deal completion perspective saw Henry Boot selling four strategic land sites and four completed development properties with the result that underlying trading profits finished the year ahead of market expectations. In addition, the group said that it 'has received draft year end property valuation data and have made provisions against certain investment sites where the anticipated schemes will not now come forward as originally envisaged.' All of which prompted Investec to upgrade its reported pre-tax profit figures by 2.2% in full year 2015 and an average 3.8% per annum in full years 2016 and 2017 to £34 million and £35.6 million respectively.
Chief executive John Trevor Sutcliffe used the occasion to take a little profit, selling 5,000 shares at 215.25 pence per share and nettting £10,763. The CEO now holds 0.383% of the issued share capital of the Company.
Maintainng his buy recommendation, Nick Spoliar at WHIreland, notes that 'Henry Boot's businesses generally are doing well against a supportive backdrop. A successful Board transition earlier in the year saw the Chief Executive move to the Chairman’s role following the retirement of the latter, and the Finance Director move to CEO, with an internal FD appointment.'