Watkin Jones targets PRS as profits surge

Aaron Morby 7 years ago

Student accommodation builder Watkin Jones is targeting private rental housing as part of an ambitious growth strategy.

Mark Watkin Jones reports record maiden stock market results after March AIM-listing
Mark Watkin Jones reports record maiden stock market results after March AIM-listing

The firm posted a record profit performance today in maiden results after floating on the Alternative Investment Market last March.

Before £6.5m costs connected with the market listing and £20m paid out in senior management incentives, it raised operating profit 17% to £38m.

Revenues also peaked at £267m,  9% ahead of the previous year.

Watkins Jones boasts a strong student accommodation pipeline with 27 development sites under offer and in the pipeline, representing 9,469 beds and now plans to target PRS housing as a future growth strategy.

Chief executive officer Mark Watkin Jones said: “Watkin Jones has made a strong start to life as a public company and has demonstrated its ability to grow with good visibility of earnings and significant cash generation. 

“Our prospects are encouraging and our aspiration is to continue to expand in both student accommodation and PRS, while adding to earnings by managing the completed developments.  We look forward to the next year with confidence.

“Our student accommodation development business is robust. 

“It is positively underpinned by a buoyant market and our forward sale model provides us with excellent visibility as to future earnings and cash flow.  

“Nine of the ten schemes scheduled for completion in FY 2017 have been successfully forward sold and the tenth scheme is in legal negotiations.  All schemes are progressing well on site.”

Watkin Jones also has secured planning consent for 10 development sites to complete in 2018, with one other in planning.

A further six development sites are secured for completion in 2019.

Two of these have planning consent with the remainder progressing satisfactorily.

The firm’s first purposebuilt 322-flat PRS development in Leeds is scheduled for completion this year.

Watkin Jones said: “Our student accommodation expertise is directly transferable to the PRS market.

“We are looking to build on our experience and our institutional relationships to develop real momentum in this area, while always being mindful of the need to expand in a sustainable way.”


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