Firm pays back £800,000 furlough cash

Student accommodation and build to rent specialist Watkin Jones said a provision of £21m to cover the costs of covid-19 and cladding remedial work helped send full-year pre-tax profit down by nearly half .

The firm said it had forked out nearly £6m because of disruption caused by the pandemic while cladding replacement costs had hit £14.8m.

Watkin Jones Hove Gardens - External C01

It said a strong second half meant it was able to pay back the £800,000 it received from the government’s furlough initiative.

The firm said it had completed seven schemes in the second half and had sold two student accommodation schemes to Brookfield-owned accommodation specialist Student Roost for £48m.

Revenue for year to September was down 5.5% to £354m with pre-tax profit slumping 47% to £25.3m

In September, Watkin Jones won planning permission for a 216-home residential scheme in Hove, East Sussex, called Hove Gardens (pictured).