Troubled student housing developer incurred extra costs as it raced to complete schemes

Watkin Jones has said its underlying profit for the year will “break-even”, after previously warning it would be unlikely to top £2m.


The troubled student housing and build-to-rent developer, in a trading update for the year to 30 September, said it now expects its underlying profit before taxes and interest, which excludes one off items, will “approximately” break even.

It had previously said it would unlikely improve on the £2m in underlying profit recorded for the first half of the year.

Watkin Jones said that since the summer, it has incurred additional expense, including acceleration costs to ensure it successfully completed two schemes.

It did not give a figure for expected overall profit or loss, having reported an £800,000 pre-tax loss for the first half of the year.

Watkin Jones endured a turbulent summer, issuing a profit warning in July as chief executive Richard Simpson resigned.

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The firm said it has reviewed its overheads and carried out “cost actions” that will generate £2m of savings next year. Watkin Jones previously cut around 10% of its 400 staff last autumn in the wake of mini-Budget.

Watkin Jones said its cash performance in the latter part of the year was “strong” with gross and net cash of £72m and £43m respectively as of 30 September. It said it has secured revenue of £330m for 2024.