- Student accommodation and build-to-rent focused developer Watkin Jones reported an 8.5% fall in annual profit owing to higher expenses including a one-off payout to its chief executive.

Pre-tax profit for the year through September declined to £49.7m, down from £54.3m on-year, even as revenue rose 3.2% to £374.8m.

The company incurred an exceptional charge of £2.6m, related to the cost of compensating new CEO Richard Simpson, for forfeiting outstanding incentives held in respect of his former employer Unite.

Adjusted pre-tax profit rose 4.5% to £52.3m.

Watkin Jones declared a full-year dividend of 8.35p per share, up 9.9% on-year.

'We are pleased to report another year of growth for Watkin Jones, which demonstrates the strength and resilience of our capital light business model,' Simpson said.

'Despite the difficult macro environment caused by Brexit-related uncertainty, the group has delivered further profitable growth, in line with expectations.'

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