The uplift has come from better than expected profits in the land promotion business, where HB buys potential housing development land, gets planning and then resells what is known as "oven ready" sites to builders.
HB is a cash rich company and is currently operating with net cash, whilst retaining an unused £50 million facility, because it is concerned about the volatility of capital markets, and the possible weakening in the ability of UK banks to provide funding to the UK property market if the soverign debt crisis gets worse.
HB have a number of development sites for commercial developments where it will commence construction when it has a pre-let or pre-sale agreed. Schemes such as a 25,000 sq ft Waitrose store in Warminster, a 41,000 sq ft warehouse and offices, a McDonalds and two warehoses totalling 100,000 sq ft all at Markham Vale, a 45,000 sq ft food store at Thorne, offices in Deansgate Manchester, and two budget hotel developments are all scheduled on site now or expected in the new year.
HB has a steady workload from the social housing sector, under long term frameworks in Scunthorpe, Manchester, Nottingham and Doncaster. In addition, HB have also recently been appointed to the Leicester City Homes, EN Procure and North Lincolnshire Homes Capital Investment four year framework programmes.
Shares in Henry Boot closed last night at 116.5p valuing the firm at £151.7 million