Property & Construction

Watkin Jones PLC

  • Market Cap (£m) 129.0
  • Listing AIM

Eight Page Summary

Analysts

Company Description

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.

Investment Summary

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.

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Company Management Team

  • Alex Pease

    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).

  • Sarah Sergeant

    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.

Key Dates

Apr 2021
14th
Q2 TU
Actual
May 2021
18th
Interims
Actual
Nov 2021
2nd
CMD
Actual
Jan 2022
18th
Finals
Actual
Feb 2022
17th
AGM
Actual
Apr 2022
13th
Q2 TU
Actual
May 2022
17th
Interims
Actual
Oct 2022
4th
Q4 TU
Actual
Jan 2023
25th
Finals
Actual
Feb 2023
28th
AGM
Actual
Apr 2023
13th
Q2 TU
Actual
May 2023
23rd
Interims
Actual
Jul 2023
19th
Q3 TU
Actual
Oct 2023
11th
Q4 TU
Actual
Jan 2024
23rd
Finals
Actual
Feb 2024
1st
IE Group Meeting
Actual
Feb 2024
29th
AGM
Actual
Apr 2024
13th
Q2 TU
Estimate
May 2024
23rd
Interims
Estimate
Jul 2024
19th
Q3 TU
Estimate
Oct 2024
11th
Q4 TU
Estimate
Jan 2025
23rd
Finals
Estimate