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Watkin Jones cuts dividend as pandemic weighs on profit

By BFN News | 07:35 AM | Tuesday 19 January, 2021

Rental and student accommodation developer Watkin Jones booked a 47% drop in annual profit after the pandemic led to the deferral of forward sales on developments. Pre-tax profit for the year through September fell to £25.3 million, down from £47.9 million. Revenue fell 5.5% to £354.1 million, while adjusted profit fell 9.3% to £45.8 million. Watkin Jones declared a full-year dividend of 7.35p per share, down 12% year-on-year. 'We delivered a robust financial performance for the 2020 financial year, building on our strong first half despite the subsequent and ongoing disruption caused by Covid-19,' chief executive Richard Simpson said. Simpson said Covid-19 had undoubtedly caused delays to investment activity in the period. However, he added that a resumption in forward sales, increase in the number of student beds for delivery and scheduled completion of four rental developments, should see the company return to growth in the coming year. 'We have had a good start to the 2021 financial year with new forward sales and our developments progressing well,' Simpson said. Story provided by

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