AECC developer Henry Boot rides out ‘uncertain’ market

The Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre project is due for completion in 2019. Picture: Contributed
The Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre project is due for completion in 2019. Picture: Contributed
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The property company behind Aberdeen’s new £333 million conference centre is eyeing a strong end to the year despite tough conditions facing the construction sector.

Latest official figures show the industry suffered a surprise slide in output in August amid a steep decline in infrastructure activity, but Henry Boot Developments said it is poised to begin work on some £800m worth of projects across the UK over the coming 18 months.

The Office for National Statistics said last week that construction output dropped 1.5 per cent during the month. That compared with a 0.5 per cent increase in July and economists’ estimates of zero growth.

READ MORE: Construction activity hit by infrastructure slump

David Anderson, managing director at Henry Boot Developments, said: “Despite the current market uncertainty we are continuing to deliver a wide range of projects, which reflects the hard work of our development teams and joint venture partners together with our long-term approach to projects. We will continue to be very active and are always looking for new development opportunities.”

Along with the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre, the Sheffield-based firm – which has an office in Glasgow – is involved in a £200m mixed-use development in Manchester and is transforming the former Terry’s Chocolate headquarters in York into luxury apartments.

Parent company Henry Boot, which is listed on the London market, said in August that overall pre-tax profits jumped 48.6 per cent to £20.8m during the first six months of the year. The group also told investors that annual earnings would be “comfortably ahead” of City expectations.

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