March 25, 2024


Resilient 2023 performance; Positioned well for market recovery; 10% dividend increase.

Tim Roberts, Chief Executive Officer, commented:

“Our focus on high quality land, commercial property development and housebuilding in prime locations meant that demand for our premium products remained resilient and allowed Henry Boot to perform relatively well against a backdrop of a slowing economy, rising interest rates, high inflation and decreasing volumes in our key markets. While constraining our ability to bring forward developments in one respect, the government’s consistent failure to make much needed reforms to an increasingly dysfunctional planning system does play to the strengths of our land promotion business while helping underpin demand from national housebuilders, who are still actively acquiring prime strategic sites to shore up their future pipelines. This alongside some well timed development disposals and Stonebridge Homes increasing house sales by 43%, helped deliver a resilient performance.

We are not immune from the challenges that the UK economy presents to the near-term trading environment and as previously reported, we expect a lag in performance in the year ahead. However, the outlook for both inflation and interest rates is improving and it’s beginning to feel as though the UK economy has turned a corner, with recent reductions in mortgage rates also pointing towards a hopefully brighter future. With this in mind, and given the Group’s continued strong financial position, we remain confident in achieving our medium term growth and return targets, as reflected in the 10% dividend increase we have announced today.”

Financial Highlights

  • 3% increase in revenue to £359.4m (2022: £341.4m) driven by land disposals, property development and housing completions
  • Profit before tax of £37.3m (2022: £45.6m) and underlying profit¹ of £36.7m (2022: £56.1m), in line with market expectations and supported by our focus on high quality land and development in prime locations
  • Capital employed has increased by 4.5% to £417m (2022: £399m) continuing our stated growth strategy and progressing, towards our medium target of £500m
  • ROCE² of 9.9% (2022: 12.0%), rounded, at the lower end of our medium-term target of 10–15%
  • NAV³ per share is up by 3.7% to 306p (2022: 295p), due to resilient operational performance. Excluding the defined benefit pension scheme surplus, NAV per share showed an underlying increase of 3.4% to 300p (December 2022: 290p)
  • Strong balance sheet, with net debt⁴ of £77.8m (2022: £48.6m) reflecting continued investment in committed developments and selective acquisitions. Gearing at 19.0% (2022: 12.3%) within the optimum stated range of 10-20%
  • Proposed final dividend of 4.40p (2022: 4.00p), an increase of 10.0%, in line with our progressive dividend policy, bringing the total dividend for the year to 7.33p (2022: 6.66p)
  • We remain confident in achieving our medium term growth and return targets

Operational Highlights

  • £248.5m (2022: £241.9m) of land and property sales led by our land promotion, development and housebuilding businesses, despite a challenging economy and slower market conditions, reflecting the demand for our prime projects and buildings
  • Land promotion
    • 1,944 plots sold (2022: 3,869) at an increased gross profit per plot of £15,480 (2022: £6,066) due to significant freehold sale at Tonbridge, more than offsetting the volume reduction
    • The total land bank has grown to 100,972 plots (2022: 95,704 plots)
    • 8,501 plots with planning permission (2022: 9,431), all held at cost and 13,468 in for planning (2022: 12,297)
  • Property investment & development
    • Gross Development Value of completed schemes £126m (HB share £111m) dominated by prime industrial development which was all successfully pre-let and/or pre-sold
    • High quality committed development programme of £159m, with 50% pre-sold or pre-let, including c.550,000 sq ft of Industrial & Logistics development underway (HB share: £91m GDV)
    • £1.5bn development pipeline (HB share £1.3bn GDV), 59% of which is focused on Industrial & Logistics markets
  • The market value of the investment portfolio including our share of JVs market value increased to £112.9m (2022: £108.6m) and continued to outperform the CBRE UK monthly Index, with a total return5 of 6.7% for year ending 2023
  • Four accretive investment property sales, plus Banner Cross Hall, for a combined value of £12.7m, at an average 23% premium to December 2022 valuations
    • Stonebridge Homes increased annual sales output by 43%, completing 251 homes (2022: 175 homes) and grew total owned and controlled land bank to 1,513 plots (2022: 1,094 plots) as the business continues scaling up in line with its growth aspirations
  • Construction
  • The construction segment achieved turnover of £99.5m (2022: £128.6m) in a challenging market and remained profitable, achieving an operating profit of £6.5m (2022: £12.1m)
  • Responsible business
    • The Group continues to make progress against its Responsible Business Strategy and published 2025 interim targets, launching a Health and Wellbeing programme and continued progress in achieving our GHG emissions target to support reaching NZC by 2030


Click here to view the full 2023 Preliminary Results Announcement        



1 Underlying profit is an alternative performance measure (APM) and is defined as profit before tax excluding revaluation movements on completed investment properties. Revaluation movement on completed investment properties includes gains of £0.5m (2022: £7.3m losses) on wholly owned completed investment property and a gain of £0.1m (2022: £3.2m losses) on completed investment property held in joint ventures. This APM is used as it provides the users with a measure that excludes specific external factors beyond management's control and reflects the Group’s underlying results. This measure is used in the business in appraising senior management performance.

2 Return on Capital Employed is an APM and is defined as operating profit/capital employed where capital employed is the average of total assets less current liabilities and pension asset/obligation at the opening and closing balance sheet dates.

3 Net Asset Value (NAV) per share is an APM and is defined using the statutory measures net assets/ordinary share capital.

4 Net debt is an APM and is reconciled to statutory measures in note 7.

5 Total property return is a metric that combines capital and income returns for the investment portfolio. It is calculated as the percentage value change plus net income accrual, relative to the capital employed and is calculated on a monthly basis and then indexed in line with the benchmark.

⁶ Total Accounting Return is an APM and is defined as the growth in NAV per share plus dividends paid, expressed as a percentage of NAV per share at the beginning of the period.

For further information, please contact:

Henry Boot PLC

Tim Roberts, Chief Executive Officer

Darren Littlewood, Chief Financial Officer

Daniel Boot, Senior Corporate Communications Manager

Tel: 0114 255 5444


Deutsche Numis

Joint Corporate Broker

Ben Stoop/Will Rance

Tel: 020 7260 1000


Peel Hunt LLP

Joint Corporate Broker

Ed Allsopp/Charles Batten

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