Eight Page Summary
Watkin Jones (WJG) develops build-to-rent (BTR) and purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) schemes, largely forward-funded by institutional investors, which acquire sites from WJG with the benefit of planning and then pay for the works monthly as development progresses, thus reducing capital tie-up for WJ. The group also provides an accommodation management service through its Fresh Property Group (FPG) business, which manages both WJG and third-party developed assets, and operates a more traditional housebuilding business focused on the North West. The company, which was founded by carpenter Huw Jones in 1791, evolved as a developer before specialising in student accommodation, and was admitted to AIM in 2016.
We believe WJ offers a unique low-risk, capital-light development and asset management model for the private and student rental markets. The group should benefit from continuing growth opportunities in new student accommodation, while its experience offers it 'early mover advantage' in the less mature but potentially faster growing BTR sector. This is all tied together by FPG in what we have defined as a 'virtuous circle'. The forward-funding model offers attractive margins but with little capital tie-up and risk since the institutional investors then own the assets and assume long-term rental exposure. WJG's development risk is minimised by setting fixed-cost contracts with its supply chains. FPG enjoys good revenue visibility due to long-term contracts with building owners.
23/01/2024 Watkin Jones PLC
Watkin Jones’s FY23 results, to 30 September, were closely aligned with guidance in its October trading update, with […]
11/10/2023 Watkin Jones PLC
Watkin Jones’s FY23E year-end trading update is broadly in line with our expectations, albeit with slightly higher costs […]
19/07/2023 Watkin Jones PLC
Watkin Jones has issued new guidance for FY23E, recognising ‘a greater degree of risk’ regarding anticipated forward-funding transactions […]
23/05/2023 Watkin Jones PLC
Watkin Jones highlights a continued recovery in the institutional funding market in today’s interim results, which were in […]
13/04/2023 Watkin Jones PLC
In today’s half-year trading update, residential-for-rent developer and manager Watkin Jones highlights revived activity among its institutional investors […]
27/01/2023 Watkin Jones PLC
Residential-for-rent developer and manager Watkin Jones on 25 January delivered FY22 results that were broadly in line with […]
13/10/2022 Watkin Jones PLC
Today’s RICS housing market survey, in our view, paints a much brighter picture of Watkin Jones’s rental sector […]
05/10/2022 Watkin Jones PLC
We note that the Chairman and CEO of Watkin Jones yesterday purchased over 72,000 shares between them after […]
04/10/2022 Watkin Jones PLC
Residential-for-rent developer and manager Watkin Jones has confirmed in today’s trading statement a strong operational performance in the […]
17/05/2022 Watkin Jones PLC
Residential-for-rent developer and manager Watkin Jones has confirmed it is on track to meet FY2022E expectations of rising […]
13/04/2022 Watkin Jones PLC
Residential-for-rent developer and manager Watkin Jones confirms in today’s trading statement for the six months to 31 March […]
18/01/2022 Watkin Jones PLC
Residential-for-rent developer and manager Watkin Jones today delivered an 11% rise in PBT to £51.1m for FY2021, beating […]
Company Management Team
Chief Executive Officer
Alex joined Watkin Jones in 2010 and took on the role of Group Investment Director in 2013. He was appointed as Chief Investment Officer in 2021. Prior to Watkin Jones, Alex spent six years in the Savills Residential Investment team where he specialised in brokerage, consultancy and valuation across all residential asset classes. Alex is a chartered surveyor (MRICS).
Chief Financial Officer
Sarah was appointed to the Board as Chief Financial Officer Designate on 6 October 2021, assuming the CFO role in November 2021. She was previously the Chief Financial Officer of the UK & Ireland region at Compass Group PLC, the FTSE 30 food and support services company. She has held a number of senior finance and operational roles over her 13-year tenure at Compass, including Group Financial Controller, M&A Director, and CFO of the Asia Pacific region, based in Singapore. Sarah brings considerable financial, strategic and operational experience from across the commercial spectrum. She is a chartered accountant.