- Rental property and student accommodation focused developer Watkin Jones reported a 19% rise in first-half profit but acknowledged the gains were largely made before the Covid-19 crisis hit.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through March increased to £26.6m, up from £22.4m on-year, as revenue rose 17% to £185.7m.

As previously announced, Watkin Jones did not declare a final dividend and had withdrawn its financial guidance for the full year.

Chief executive Richard Simpson said the company had gradually been able to reopen most of its development sites.

'We have strengthened further our financial position by conserving cash; reducing costs, suspending the interim dividend and extending borrowing facilities,' he added.

'We believe that this ensures the long-term resilience of the business as well as its capability to respond quickly as markets recover.'

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