AECC developer Henry Boot sees first-half profits build

The Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre is due for completion in 2019. Picture: Contributed
The Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre is due for completion in 2019. Picture: Contributed
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Construction firm Henry Boot has delivered solid first-half results including a 9 per cent jump in profits aided by its Scottish developments.

The group, which also deals in property investment and development, said the momentum had continued into the second half of the year with “high levels of activity” across its operations.

• READ MORE: AECC developer Henry Boot rides out ‘uncertain’ market

Chief executive John Sutcliffe told investors: “Whilst we remain mindful of a continued degree of economic and political uncertainty, sentiment amongst our customers and clients remains positive and we have a strong pipeline of profitable opportunities.

“The group continues to trade well and in line with the board’s expectations for the full year.”

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The results for the six months to the end of June revealed an 8.7 per cent rise in pre-tax profit to £22.6 million, compared with a year earlier.

Earnings per share were up 10.1 per cent to 13.1p while the interim dividend is being hiked by 12 per cent to 2.8p a share.

The group hailed a strong contribution from its property investment and development division, with major schemes in Scotland helping to underpin growth.

A significant project within the portfolio is the new Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre (AECC), which is expected to complete in 2019. The development will see the creation of a new arena, conference halls and a “subterranean multi-purpose space”.

• READ MORE: Aberdeen’s £333m conference centre gets green light

Henry Boot Developments is also investing in other regions of Scotland. The company has partnered with West Dunbartonshire Council to revitalise an 8.5-acre site in Clydebank town centre. It will regenerate the site for retail and leisure uses with a new town square.

A similar town-centre project was recently completed in the east of Scotland, at Livingston Retail Park. The 6.8-acre site will house a number of big brands including B&M, Dunelm, Marston’s and Starbucks.

Nick Harris, director of Henry Boot Developments for the region, said: “Our development business in Scotland is continuing to expand its operations.

“We are delighted to be involved in a number of partnerships with city councils to regenerate our urban spaces. Scotland remains one of the key target areas for our ongoing investment strategy over the coming years.”

Sutcliffe said: “We are pleased to report another good performance in the first half against a strong comparative result in 2016, with further operational progress delivered across the group.”

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