HENRY BOOT PLC
On 25 March 2020, Henry Boot PLC provided the market with a trading update following the Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA) request to defer publication of the 31 December year end 2019 Preliminary Statements in light of Covid-19. This situation continues to evolve rapidly, as does Government advice, with actions taken by our supply chain and feedback from our customers.
As ever, the Group's main priority is the welfare of our people, their families, customers and the communities in which we operate. We continue to follow Government advice with all office-based staff still working from home. Furthermore, we have now closed all sales centres and paused construction work, except where we are working on sites vital to the NHS. We are formulating our plans to enable us to continue activity where we can operate safely within the Government's and the Construction Leadership Council's (CLC) latest guidance in respect of stricter revised working practices and social distancing on sites.
The situation remains fluid and we continue to work very closely with our employees, customers, supply chain and the Government to ensure we offer the best service we can, whilst maintaining a safe workplace. However, given the reduction in activity principally affecting our construction, house building and plant hire activities, we will be furloughing employees, where it is appropriate to do so, utilising the Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to ensure that our workforce remains available to remobilise as trading conditions allow. At this point, we do not anticipate employee levels within our strategic land promotion or property development businesses will be significantly affected.
It has become clear that the Covid-19 related disruption to our Group operations will inevitably influence the Group's results for the current year to 31 December 2020. However, the Group is currently unable to quantify the impact of Covid-19 on its financial and trading performance for the current year and, as a result, the Group is suspending all existing financial guidance until clarity returns.
As set out in our announcement on 25 March, the Group continues to operate from a very strong financial base with a strong balance sheet. The Group has net cash of circa £48m at 1 April 2020 (£27m at the 31 December 2019 year-end). In addition, we retain a secured, committed and undrawn facility of up to £75m. We continue to take measures to actively manage cash and curtail both capital and revenue expenditure. Therefore, we are on track with our plan to preserve our financial resources, maintain the safety of our people and leverage our organisational capability to face these uncertainties.
We continue to follow the FCA guidance ensuring that we fully consider the impact of Covid-19 on the business as we work towards the release of our 31 December 2019 results which we anticipate will remain in-line with management's current expectations. The Group will make a further announcement in due course regarding the publication date of its 31 December 2019 results.
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014. The person responsible for arranging the release of this announcement on behalf of the Group is Amy Stanbridge, Company Secretary.
For further information, please contact:
Henry Boot PLC
Tim Roberts, Chief Executive Officer
Darren Littlewood, Group Finance Director
Tel: 0114 255 5444
Numis Securities Limited
Joint Corporate Broker
Garry Levin/George Fry
Tel: 020 7260 1000
Peel Hunt LLP
Joint Corporate Broker
Charles Batten/Harry Nicholas
Tel: 020 7418 8900
Hudson Sandler LLP
Nick Lyon/Wendy Baker
Tel: 020 7796 4133
About Henry Boot PLC
Henry Boot PLC (BOOT.L) was established over 130 years ago and is one of the UK's leading and long-standing property investment and development, land promotion and construction companies. Based in Sheffield, the Group is comprised of the following three segments:
Hallam Land Management Limited
Property Investment & Development:
The Group possess a high-quality strategic land portfolio, an enviable reputation in the property development market backed by a substantial investment property portfolio and an expanding, jointly owned, house building business. It has a construction specialism in both the public and private sectors, a plant hire business, and generates strong cash flows from its PFI contract through Road Link (A69) Limited.