Watkin Jones plunges to £43m loss

Build-to-rent developer Watkin Jones has reported a £42.5m pre-tax loss following a surge in operational and exceptional costs.

The firm, which placed in the top half of the latest CN100, plunged into the red during the 12 months to 30 September last year.

Revenue rose 1.5 per cent to £413.2m in the latest period but building-safety remediation costs wiped out £35m, while a further £3.1m charge was made against an internal restructure.

However, economic conditions meant the firm made a pre-tax loss even when discounting these exceptional items.

Watkin Jones, which has offices in London, Chester and Bangor, said in the autumn that it expected to break even in its full-year results.

Chief executive Alex Pease said today (23 January): “Significant cost inflation and volatility in real estate funding markets meant that FY23 represented a period of unprecedented challenge for the business.

“However, I am pleased that against this backdrop, the group demonstrated resilience and agility, taking a number of important actions operationally.

“While funding conditions remain difficult, the outlook is gradually improving and the strong asset performance in the purpose-built student accommodation and build-to-rent sectors gives me confidence in the longer-term market recovery and return to growth.

“In the near term, we remain focussed on driving improvements to the productivity and efficiency of the business, as well as looking at opportunities to extract more value from our sector expertise and end-to-end capabilities.”

The developer said it had a secured development pipeline worth about £1.5bn.

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