TIDMWSG

RNS Number : 9169C

Westminster Group PLC

24 June 2021

Westminster Group Plc

('Westminster', the 'Group' or the 'Company')

AGM Statement and Board Change

Westminster Group Plc (AIM: WSG), a leading supplier of managed services and technology-based security solutions worldwide, will hold its Annual General Meeting today at 11am (BST) at the offices of PKF Littlejohn LLP, 15 Westferry Circus, London, E14 4HD.

Ahead of the AGM Westminster's Chief Executive Officer, Peter Fowler, has issued the following statement.

"In our 2020 Annual Report issued on 30 April 2020 I was pleased to report that, despite the considerable challenges created by the Covid-19 global pandemic, we kept all our people safe, maintained our global operations, albeit some on reduced levels, and delivered some notable successes. Our revenues held up well considering the unprecedented challenges, largely due to the strength of our multiple revenue stream business model and the early actions taken by management.

"The global uncertainty and travel restrictions did of course impact our business by delaying the signing and / or delivery of certain projects, such as the Palace of Westminster contract we secured in 2020 but which we were only able to commence operations in April 2021. As noted in the Company's 30 April 2021 announcement, these disruptions and delays continued into 2021, with travel restrictions still in place in many parts of the world, resulting in further 'right-shifting' of certain expected contracts and revenues, which have impacted H1 2021 financials. Despite this, we are pleased to re-confirm that, with the expected easing of restrictions, recently secured contracts and a strong pipeline, we still believe we can meet full year expectations at the revenue and PBT level.

"Notwithstanding these challenges and the continuing global uncertainty, we remain excited about our future growth. We continue to pursue the many large-scale project opportunities we are developing around the world. There are encouraging signs that travel restrictions may at last be beginning to ease in a number of regions and that some of our delayed projects may once again begin to move forward.

"In our 2020 Annual Report we stated one of our key goals for 2021 was to secure at least one more long-term managed services contract and in that respect, I am delighted that, with an easing of restrictions, we have not only been able to secure one, but two, significant new long-term contract wins.

"In December 2020 we announced we were in the advanced stages of securing a long-term contract for 5 airports in an African country. We had been pursuing this opportunity since our acquisition of our French business Euro Ops in 2019 and we expected to secure this contract in 2020 but due to the various lockdowns and travel restrictions in place things were delayed. I was delighted therefore to be able to announce on 15 June that we had secured a 20-year manged services contract to provide security services to 5 airports in the Democratic Republic of the Congo ('DRC'), Central Africa. This was a very significant achievement and not only means we will now have an established presence in a new region of Africa but also the project offers substantial growth opportunities.

"In addition, on 16 June I was delighted to announce that we had been awarded another long-term managed service contract to provide port screening services in West Africa. We had been pursuing and developing this opportunity for over two years and it is another important win for the Company that further extends our footprint and profile in the port screening sector.

"Both of the important new contract wins above demonstrate, as we have stated on a number of occasions, that large-scale projects such as these do take time to develop and negotiate and equally demonstrate that we have the skills and resources required to successfully deliver on such opportunities. Together these two new contracts alone will add, once fully operational, several million-pound step changes to our annual revenues and together with our other managed services and recurring revenue contracts, underpin confidence in our future forecasts and growth.

"As previously advised, we have established Westminster Arabia in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia jointly with our partners Hazar International but have been delayed from finalising licences due to travel restrictions. I am pleased to report however that with some easing of restrictions we are now preparing to re-enter the Kingdom to finalise matters. This will be an important step in enabling us to formally bid on the many medium and large-scale opportunities we have been developing there.

"In the UK our contract with the Palace of Westminster has commenced well and we are already looking at possible extensions to this project.

"In addition to these important new contracts we are encouraged in the recovery and growth of our existing operations.

"Our West African Airport managed services operation continues to be ahead of our expectations (currently 62% of pre-COVID levels) although we do not expect to see a full recovery to pre-Covid levels until 2022. It is encouraging however that this operation is recovering faster than the average African and European airport traffic.

"Our port managed services operations in Ghana have not been materially affected by Covid-19 and continue to perform well. With a 4th berth due later in 2021, we expect to see further growth with this important project.

"We continue to experience healthy enquiry levels and so far in 2021 have delivered products and services to over 40 countries around the world and we are beginning to see encouraging signs of recovery in our guarding and training businesses with recent new contract awards.

"We continue to develop new opportunities and initiatives such as our partnership with Certific in their new Covid testing programme for which Westminster are providing verification services. Whilst it remains too early to judge the potential scale and impact of this initiative, we are encouraged by the increasing interest Certific are receiving for their services including from large scale event organisers.

"As previously announced on 28 May 2021 Mr Charles Cattaneo will be leaving the Board today at the end of the Annual General Meeting. It is a pity he could not be with us today in person but on behalf of the Chairman and the rest of the Board I would like to thank him for his support and service to the Company and we wish him well for the future. We expect to update the market shortly on his replacement.

"Also, as previously announced on 28 May 2021, our Non-Executive Director, Mr Mawuli Ababio, was appointed as Deputy Chairman of the Company. I am especially pleased to report that Mawuli was recently honoured by being Knighted by the French Ambassador in Ghana, on behalf of the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, at a ceremony held at the Residence of France in Accra, Ghana, on 17 June 2021. The ceremony was attended by a number of dignitaries including the President of Ghana and at which Mawuli was presented with France's 2(nd) highest award, the French National Order of Merit. On behalf of the Board and all at Westminster I would like to publicly congratulate him on this well-deserved award.

"In the last few years, we have achieved a lot and it is rewarding to see the quality of our services and our many achievements being widely recognised. I am extremely proud that in April 2021 Westminster were granted the Queen's Award for Enterprise in recognition of outstanding achievement in international trade. The award ceremony and Westminster's open day will now take place at Westminster House on 3 September 2021. In November 2020 the London Stock Exchange selected Westminster as one of a 1,000 companies to inspire Britain and in May 2020 and again in April 2021 the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) graded our aviation training business as 'Outstanding in all Areas'. These are all important accolades for our business and a testament to the skill and hard work of all our people."

For further information please contact:

 
Westminster Group Plc                          Media enquiries via Walbrook 
                                                PR 
Rt. Hon. Sir Tony Baldry - Chairman 
Peter Fowler - Chief Executive Officer 
Mark Hughes - Chief Financial Officer 
 
Strand Hanson Limited (Financial & Nominated 
 Adviser) 
James Harris                                   020 7409 3494 
Ritchie Balmer 
 
 Arden Partners plc (Broker) 
 Richard Johnson (Corporate) 
 Tim Dainton/Simon Johnson (Broking)             020 7614 5900 
 
Walbrook (Investor Relations) 
Tom Cooper                                     020 7933 8780 
Paul Vann 
Nick Rome                                      Westminster@walbrookpr.com 
 

Notes:

Westminster Group plc is a specialist security and services group operating worldwide via an extensive international network of agents and offices in over 50 countries.

Westminster's principal activity is the design, supply and ongoing support of advanced technology security solutions, encompassing a wide range of surveillance, detection (including Fever Detection), tracking and interception technologies and the provision of long-term managed services contracts such as the management and running of complete security services and solutions in airports, ports and other such facilities together with the provision of manpower, consultancy and training services. The majority of its customer base, by value, comprises governments and government agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGO's) and blue-chip commercial organisations.

The Westminster Group Foundation is part of the Group's Corporate Social Responsibility activities. www.wg-foundation.org

The Foundation's goal is to support the communities in which the Group operates by working with local partners and other established charities to provide goods or services for the relief of poverty and the advancement of education and healthcare particularly in the developing world.

The Westminster Group Foundation is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, CIO, registered with the Charities Commission number 1158653.

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END

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