For immediate release
27 March 2020
Watkin Jones plc
('Watkin Jones' or the 'Group')
Watkin Jones plc (AIM:WJG), the UK's leading developer and manager of residential for rent, with a focus on the student accommodation and Build to Rent sectors, announces the following update on COVID-19 and the measures the Group is taking to manage and mitigate the potential risks to its employees, clients, customers, partners and shareholders.
The health and safety, welfare and protection of all people directly or indirectly involved in the Group's business is our number one priority. The Group has been reviewing and responding to the evolving situation in respect of the COVID-19 pandemic, closely following guidance from Public Health England and the World Health Organisation. The Group has responded quickly and implemented specific COVID-19 business continuity plans in line with guidance.
Watkin Jones' office based staff are successfully enrolled in managed flexible working programmes, enabled by the Group's technology platforms. In order to prioritise welfare, the Group has decided to close its active development sites temporarily, with the exception of a small number of sites which will remain open whilst essential services works are completed. The Group will keep this position under review and remains prepared to remobilise the sites quickly, as soon as it is appropriate and safe to do so.
Within Fresh Property Group, where we manage student and build to rent tenants on behalf of institutional owners, we are focusing on ensuring the safety and welfare of our tenants and staff, and providing practical support to those who are self-isolating. Enhanced cleaning regimes and adjusted social interaction arrangements are in place to assist in managing and controlling the potential spread of the virus. We are working very closely with our university partners, international agents and other key stakeholders, particularly in respect of the impact on this summer term and potentially further ahead.
We are taking proactive steps to manage the business effectively through this fast-moving situation. At this stage it is too early to assess accurately the extent and length of disruption arising from COVID-19. The Group will provide an update on first half performance shortly following the period end.
- Ends -
For further information:
Watkin Jones plc
Richard Simpson, Chief Executive Officer
Tel: +44 (0) 1248 362 516
Phil Byrom, Chief Financial Officer
Peel Hunt LLP (Nominated Adviser & Joint Corporate Broker)
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7418 8900
Mike Bell / Ed Allsopp
Jefferies Hoare Govett (Joint Corporate Broker)
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7029 8000
Max Jones / Will Soutar
Henry Harrison-Topham / Richard Oldworth
Jamie Hooper / Steph Watson
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7466 5000
Notes to Editors
Watkin Jones is the UK's leading developer and manager of residential for rent, with a focus on the student accommodation and Build to Rent 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 41,000 student beds across 123 sites, making it a key player and leader in the UK purpose built student accommodation market. In addition, the Fresh Property Group, the Group's specialist accommodation management company, manages nearly 18,000 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 now 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
This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact [email protected] or visit www.rns.com.