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Westminster eyes bright future as world emerges from coronavirus


What it does

Westminster Group PLC (LON:WSG) specialises in screening and security at container ports, airports, transport installations and buildings.

For example, the company has a long-term passenger baggage screening contract at an airport in West Africa.

Westminster receives a fee from all passengers flying in and out of the airport that is paid by the airlines.

Turkish Airlines is the latest airline to start to use the airport.

The Tema contract will be a similar long-term recurring revenue award with Westminster receiving payment for each unit going through the port whether it is screened or not.

During the pandemic it started providing fever screening systems and face masks vending machines.

How it’s doing

The firm entered 2021 debt-free after completing a £5mln placing in December, when 125mln new ordinary shares, together with attached warrants, were placed at a price of 4p each with new institutional, other and existing investors. 

The AIM-listed firm was also identified as one of the ‘1,000 companies to inspire Britain’ in 2020 in a November report issued by the London Stock Exchange, which recognises the UK’s fastest-growing and most dynamic small and medium-sized businesses.

In March, Westminster said it hopes to get back to double-digit revenue growth in 2021.

The outlook is looking positive, the security and training group added in a trading update.

“Revenues from existing contracts, including long-term managed services and the revenue slippage from 2020 provide a basis for our optimism together with the ongoing recovery from Covid-19 in our guarding, training and West African Airport operations.”

Westminster provides security for passengers leaving and arriving at Lungi International Airport in Sierra Leone and passenger numbers in January were 14.6% ahead of budget and their highest since it reopened after the pandemic, said the statement.

The Port of Tema container project in Ghana also generated US$2.6mln revenues and this should to continue to rise as the port expands capacity and the fourth berth comes on stream later in 2021, added the Aim-listed group.

“For 2020, due to Covid-19 delays and revenue slippage into 2021 we expect to report revenues of around £10m (2019: £10.9m) but due to improved margins still expect to deliver a pre-tax loss broadly in line with market expectations,” said the update.

What the boss says: Peter Fowler, chief executive

“We have spent a number of years investing in our business, building our global presence and developing an impressive pipeline of large-scale opportunities, each of which, if secured, would lead to multi-million GBP step changes in growth. Accordingly, the Board and I believe we are now at an inflection point in our growth trajectory.”

“This investment will assist us in delivering on this substantial growth potential and put the Company in a stronger position for the next stage of its development by providing working capital to support the growth and delivery of the pipeline of near-term potential major projects, together with recently secured contracts, whilst also strengthening its balance sheet by the removal of debt, saving some £0.3mln in annual interest and fees.”

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