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Watkin Jones Releases Half Year Results

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

The specialist student accommodation and build to rent developer Watkin Jones has recorded a 16.7% year-on-year increase in revenue, whilst adjusted profit before tax rose by 6.4% to £26.6 million.

The company's gross margin for the half-year was 22.6% (H1 2019: 24.4%), whilst it posted gross cash of £72.4 million, up from £57.9 million in the previous year.

Net cash was recorded as £37.5 million, after deducting site specific loans and HP creditors, but excluding IFRS 16 operating lease liabilities, versus £18.3 million at 31 March 2019.

The group has also renewed its £100 million revolving credit facilities for five years, of which £71 million was undrawn.

The group's purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) business has now secured 7,200 beds across 19 sites, with over 5,500 beds in 13 sites forward sold for delivery between 2020 to 2022.

Despite the nationwide lockdown, the company is still expecting to delivery six schemes by Q3-2020, whilst a seventh is expected to be delivered in Q4-2020, with a modest cost increase related to the disruption caused by Covid-19.

Commenting on the results, CEO Richard Simpson said: "Gradually, we have been able to reopen most of (our sites), to the extent allowed under social distancing and government rules."

"We have also strengthened further our financial position by conserving cash; reducing costs, suspending the interim dividend and extending borrowing facilities. We believe that this ensures the long-term resilience of the business as well as its capability to respond quickly as markets recover."