Mark Watkin Jones, chief executive of Bangor based student and build to rent contractor Watkin Jones, has announced that he is stepping down after 15 years as chief executive officer.

Mr Watkin Jones has notified the Board of his intention to stand down for personal reasons, the news came as the company posted record profits and revenue on the back of its student accommodation business.

The board announced that it would now start the search for his replacement, but hoped to retain his knowledge and experience with a possible non-executive role.

He said: “After careful consideration I have decided that it is necessary for me to step back from my position as chief executive officer.

“Solid foundations are in place for my successor to work with, including an excellent management team that has supported me over the years in successfully growing the business and who will continue to drive Watkin Jones forward for the long-term benefit of our shareholders.”

Pre-tax profits more than tripled over the year to £43m from revenue up 13% to just over £300m.

The year’s profit growth compared to the year before was flattered by exception costs of nearly £27m in 2016. Taking this exceptional into account operating profit was up 13% on the previous trading year.

Mr Watkin Jones said the business continued to grow its student accommodation pipeline and had also delivered its first build to rent scheme in Leeds during the year.