RNS Number : 7576K

Watkin Jones plc

06 September 2021

For immediate release  6 September 2021 

Watkin Jones plc

('WJ' or the 'Group')

Market Update

Strong momentum continuing in H2; development pipeline enhanced

Watkin Jones plc (AIM:WJG), the UK's leading developer and manager of residential for rent homes, provides the following update on developments since the Group issued its half-year results on 18 May 2021 (the 'period').

Continued delivery of developments on time despite COVID-19

In the period, WJ has completed and handed over:

   --    857 BtR apartments (four developments in Reading, Stratford, Sutton and Wembley). 

-- 2,071 PBSA beds (five developments in Bristol, Cranfield, Edinburgh, Leicester and Sheffield).

All remaining FY21 developments (one BtR scheme for 184 apartments in Leicester and two PBSA schemes for 1,121 beds in Glasgow and Wembley) on track for completion in September.

Institutional demand across asset classes driving forward sales

In the period, WJ has forward sold:

-- 184 BtR apartments in Leicester to Catella APAM for GBP31.7 million, payable on completion of the development in FY21.

-- 216 BtR apartments in Hove to L&G Investment Management for GBP76.5 million, payable on a forward fund basis over the development period FY21 to FY23.

-- 133 co-living studio apartments in Exeter to Ropemaker Properties, WJ's first fully co-living scheme, for c.GBP16.9 million, payable on a forward fund basis over the development period FY21 to FY22.

-- 159 affordable homes in Crewe to Plus Dane, WJ's first affordable homes scheme, for GBP22.8 million, subject to variation of planning conditions, payable over the development period FY22 to FY25. The remainder of the 245 home site is for open market sale.

-- 23 affordable homes in Llay to Adra for GBP3.5 million. The remainder of the 51 home site is for open market sale.

Achieving planning consents across the portfolio

In the period, WJ has obtained planning for:

   --    551 apartment BtR scheme in the centre of Birmingham. 
   --    370 bed PBSA scheme in Swansea. 
   --    315 apartment BtR and 335 bed PBSA mixed use scheme in Bath. 

Adding to the secured development pipeline

In the period, WJ has secured:

   --    Site in central Nottingham and planning submitted for a 354 bed PBSA scheme. 
   --    Site in South London with the potential for c.750 PBSA beds, subject to planning. 
   --    Site in East London with the potential for c.390 PBSA beds, subject to planning. 

Secured development pipeline, excluding FY21 completions, now comprises c.3,870 BtR apartments and 6,750 PBSA beds, with a total estimated future development value of c.GBP1.7 billion.

Accommodation Management (Fresh) continuing to expand

Agreed to take over management of the Oldway Centre, a 556 bed PBSA property in Swansea, for Midos Group.

Fresh is currently contracted to manage c.22,000 student beds and BtR apartments.

Richard Simpson, Chief Executive Officer of Watkin Jones, said: "Since our interim results we have continued to make good progress across the business. Our delivery teams have performed strongly, with the majority of our developments for delivery in the current financial year already completed. We have been active in acquiring high quality sites, securing planning and also forward selling to a broadening range of institutional investors, enhancing our development pipeline."

- Ends -

For further information:

Watkin Jones plc 
Richard Simpson, Chief Executive Officer                          Tel: +44 (0) 20 3617 4453 
Phil Byrom, Chief Financial Officer                                  www.watkinjonesplc.com 
  Peel Hunt LLP (Nominated Adviser & Joint Corporate Broker)      Tel: +44 (0) 20 7418 8900 
Mike Bell / Ed Allsopp                                                     www.peelhunt.com 
  Jefferies Hoare Govett (Joint Corporate Broker)                 Tel: +44 (0) 20 7029 8000 
Max Jones / Will Soutar                                                   www.jefferies.com 

Media enquiries:

Henry Harrison-Topham / Richard Oldworth 
 Jamie Hooper / Steph Whitmore              Tel: +44 (0) 20 7466 5000 
watkinjones@buchanan.uk.com                       www.buchanan.uk.com 

Notes to Editors

Watkin Jones is the UK's leading developer and manager of residential for rent, with a focus on the build to rent and student accommodation sectors. The Group has strong relationships with institutional investors, and a reputation for successful, on-time-delivery of high quality developments. Since 1999, Watkin Jones has delivered 45,000 student beds across 135 sites, making it a key player and leader in the UK purpose-built student accommodation market. In addition, Fresh, the Group's specialist accommodation management business, manages over 22,000 student beds and build to rent apartments on behalf of its institutional clients. Watkin Jones has also been responsible for over 80 residential developments, ranging from starter homes to executive housing and apartments. The Group is increasingly expanding its operations into the build to rent sector.

The Group's competitive advantage lies in its experienced management team and business model, which enables it to offer an end-to-end solution for investors, delivered entirely in-house with minimal reliance on third parties, across the entire life cycle of an asset.

Watkin Jones was admitted to trading on AIM in March 2016 with the ticker WJG.L. For additional information please visit www.watkinjonesplc.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 06, 2021 02:00 ET (06:00 GMT)

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