Firm axed around 40 jobs last autumn in wake of mini-Budget

Watkin Jones stayed in the red for the first half of the year although the build-to-rent and student housing specialist narrowed its losses considerably from last time.

In half year results for the six months to 31 March, the firm this morning said pre-tax losses were £800,000 – down from £16.6m for the same period last year with that number affected by the company setting aside £28m to cover cladding remediation work on its buildings.

Watkins Jones said the cost of cutting around 10% of its 400 staff last autumn in the wake of mini-Budget was £1.1m while the firm was hit with extra costs on a student accommodation scheme in Exeter after the main contractor went bust.


In the half year to March, Watkin Jones narrowed losses to £800,000 from £16.6m last time

It said that it “expected that H2-23 will be materially stronger than H1-23, with forward sales adding to performance from in-build developments” while the firm was targeting up to five more forward sales in the current financial year.

Chief executive Richard Simpson added: “We are pleased to have delivered a half year result in line with expectations, managing build costs and our supply chain well. We are also encouraged by the early signs of build inflation reducing which should lead to future buying gains.”

It said that it had spent £4.3m from the amount set aside to comply with the Building Safety Act during the period with net cash improving 69% to £45.3m.

Turnover during the six months was down 20% to £154m.