Watkin Jones hits record profits as pipeline grows

Aaron Morby 2 years ago
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Student rooms and build-to-rent specialist Watkin Jones has delivered record profits and secured a pipeline of 24 project sites for the next three years.

Richard Simpson took over as chief executive at the start of the New Year
Richard Simpson took over as chief executive at the start of the New Year

In the year to September, the developer/builder raised pre-tax profit by a quarter to £54m on revenue up 20% to £363m.

New chief executive Richard Simpson, who replaces retired Mark Watkin Jones, said the prospects for both student accommodation and the build to rent sector remained robust.

Simpson said: “We continue to have excellent visibility of our future revenues and earnings, supported by the pipeline of forward sold and secured sites for student accommodation.”

In the core student accommodation sector, Watkin Jones boasts a total secured development pipeline of 7,534 student beds across 17 sites, for delivery between 2019 and 2021.

This represents a development value of £650m.

In the developing build to rent sector, Watkin Jones has a secured delivery pipeline of 1,500 apartments across seven sites targeted for delivery over the next three years.

At Reading’s Thames Quarter scheme, Watkins Jones has signed a funding deal with M&G Real Estate to deliver a 315 flat build to rent scheme near the railway station.

It is also advancing a 300-flat scheme in Wembley after signing a development agreement with Singapore-based developer  Kelaty Propco.

During the year, Watkin Jones also secured planning consents for 147 units at Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth, and 165 units at a site in Sutton, Surrey.

Simpson said the prospects for rented housing looked extremely solid with investment in the UK build to rent sector estimated to total £3bn in 2018.

This is up 50% since 2017, and is forecast to reach £70bn by 2022.

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