Henry Boot PLC, one of the UK’s leading land, property management and construction companies, is focused on a ‘sustainable, long-term future’ after showing promising early signs of a post Covid-19 recovery.
CEO, Tim Roberts, outlined that the firm’s focus will be on long-term, sustainable markets such as residential, industrial and logistics, and urban development – sectors which Tim says ‘play to long-term trends’.
Tim, appointed CEO in January, was speaking at the firm’s 100th AGM – the first to have ever been held via video link – where he said the firm continues to maintain ‘a strong balance sheet’.
All the company’s sites and plant centres have reopened, with strict safety measures in place, following the easing of lockdown restrictions. Limited staff numbers have also returned to two of its offices.
The company is now achieving 85% of its planned activity and as a result continues to bring employees back from furlough.
Strategic land owned by Henry Boot stands at 15,000 acres, with the company committed to a gross development value (GDV) of £315m in developments which are pre-sold, pre-let or under offer.
Tim highlighted the “energy and stoicism” demonstrated by Henry Boot staff during the Coronavirus crisis, emphasising the role of a “highly skilled, highly motivated” team in enabling the company to maintain a strong position post-pandemic.
Tim said: “Without doubt, our focus in recent weeks and months has been dealing with the disruption which Covid-19 has caused, and my thanks go out to the Henry Boot team for all their hard work during these unusual times, as well as the board for its support.
“I believe we are well-positioned to get through this period, with a strong balance sheet and a business which has managed to continue operating effectively, albeit while maintaining stringent safety measures.
“Our business is very much focused on long-term, sustainable markets. Those are residential, industrial and logistics, and urban development – markets which play to long-term trends. We are determined to continue to generate good returns in these markets for our customers.”
With the firm’s AGM marking six months since he replaced outgoing CEO, John Sutcliffe, Tim also paid tribute to his predecessor.
Tim said: “My special thanks go to John Sutcliffe (previous CEO), who has been a big part of Henry Boot for more than a decade. He has passed over a business to me which is in very good shape.
“He’s also done it with a great degree of elegance. It has been a pleasure working with him during this handover period, and everybody at Henry Boot wants to thank him, everybody is going to miss him.”