Tuesday 14 January 2020 3:49 pm

Watkin Jones enjoys strong contribution from build-to-rent division

Housing developer Watkin Jones this morning said profit from its build-to-rent developments more than doubled.

The 229-year-old company, which also makes student housing, saw overall profit slip because of exceptional costs.

Pre-tax profit fell 8.5 per cent to £49.7m, while revenue grew 3.2 per cent to £374.8m.

However, revenue from build-to-rent shot to £73.6m from just £3.8m in 2018, while profit from the arm was £13.2m.

Chief executive Richard Simpson said: “Despite the difficult macro environment caused by Brexit-related uncertainty, the group has delivered further profitable growth, in line with expectations.”

He added: “Importantly, for the first time, build to rent development made a significant contribution to the group’s results and we expect it to become an increasingly important growth driver for the group in the coming years.  

“Watkin Jones is now firmly positioned as the UK’s leading developer and manager of residential for rent schemes.

“We are positive about the outlook for both the student accommodation and build to rent sectors.”

Simpson told City A.M. he was optimistic the student accommodation sector would grow in the next 10 years as a result of a growing number of students entering higher education.

“The student sector for the next 10 years will be driven by population growth. Population growth is due to turn positive for next year for the 18 to 22 year old cohort and that will be sustained well into the next decade.”