Streamlined Watkin Jones returns to profit in first half

Student accommodation and private rental builder Watkin Jones returned to profit in the first six months of the year after a successful business restructure.

This morning firm reported it was at last seeing an improvement in sentiment in the investment market bringing forward more opportunities.

In the first half of the year, revenue rose 14% to £175m generating a modest profit of £2.1m after last year’s £43m full-year loss following provisions for building safety work.

Alex Pease, chief executive officer of Watkin Jones, said: “First half trading was in line with our expectations, with a focus on execution and operational performance.  

“Alongside progress on our schemes in build, we have continued to develop the group’s longer term pipeline, with new land secured and further planning applications submitted.  

He said the firm’s total secured pipeline of projects now stood at £1.4bn with planning now submitted for 3,000 student bedrooms across four schemes.

“There has been gradual improvement in sentiment in the property investment market, which we expect to support a continued recovery in forward fund transaction demand, as evidenced in the forward sale of our PBSA scheme in Bristol in March,” said Pease.

“With our established and specialist end-to-end development platform and a sector leading reputation in the BTR and PBSA markets in the UK, our focus remains on positioning the business to best capitalise on a market recovery.”

Over the period Watkin Jones completed building safety rectification works on three buildings, with cash spend in line with expectations.  Group provision remained unchanged at £35m.

Pease said full-year operating profit is expected to reach £15m.


Generated by Feedzy