Watkin Jones reports record £2bn pipeline

The future pipeline is 43% up on last year and consists of around 4,310 build to rent apartments and 7,780 student rooms, mainly for delivery in 2024 and 2025.

This includes two planned private rental scheme in Leeds (230 flats) and Hove (82 flats) in Sussex.

The firm also gained consent for its near 400 student room scheme in Stratford, East London and forward sold an 800-bed development in Bristol

Announcing lacklustre first-half results today, Richard Simpson, chief executive officer of Watkin Jones, revealed the business would shortly reveal a corporate and trading name rebrand to better reflect the firm’s broader business.

Pre-tax profit was dented in the first six months by a £28m provision to cover recladding and building fire safety works relating to the industry pledge to pay for all remediation works on unsafe buildings.

The latest figure is in addition to £15m set aside in 2020.

As a result, reported pre-tax profit fell in the first six months by over half to £11m on revenue ahead 8% at £193m.

Simpson revealed that Watkin Jones would soon be trialling timber frame construction in a push to switch to modern methods of construction.

It has also now outsourced tower crane and plant needs to third party providers in a bid to improve operational efficiency.

Simpson said: We are continuing to build on the positive momentum from the second half of last year and have demonstrated operational resilience through the strength of our business model. 

“Our pro-active management of build costs and sales values has ensured that our overall development margins are maintained, and we are confident going into the second half.”

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