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(WSG) Westminster Group Share Chat

Discussion in 'General Share Chat (WSG)' started by Microem1, Nov 6, 2015.

  1. Groucho

    Groucho Member

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    18 January 2019

    Westminster Group Plc

    Directorate Changes


    Westminster Group Plc ('Westminster', the 'Group' or the 'Company'), the AIM listed supplier of managed security services and technology-based security solutions to governments and government agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGO's) and blue-chip commercial organisations worldwide, is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Charles Enea Cattaneo to the Board as a Non-Executive Director with effect from 17 January 2019 and the appointment of James Sutcliffe to the post of Chairman of the International Advisory Board.


    Charles Cattaneo, aged 55, is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, a Fellow of the Securities and Investment Institute and has an MBA from Birmingham University where he also read Commerce.


    He has over 30 years' corporate finance experience gained in investment banking, industry and the accounting profession. He is a partner in Cattaneo LLP, a business he founded in 2005 which provides corporate finance advice to a wide range of clients including Main Market Listed, AIM and private companies. He is experienced in all aspects of corporate finance and has advised on many public company transactions including hostile and recommended takeovers, acquisitions, disposals, equity and debt fund raisings, transfers to the Full List and to AIM, and flotations. Charles has been a director of a number of public and private companies and is currently the Chairman of the West Midlands Regional Advisory Group of the London Stock Exchange.


    Commenting on Charles' appointment, Westminster's Chairman, Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry, said:

    "We are delighted Charles has agreed to join the Board of Westminster and I am sure his wealth of City and corporate finance knowledge and experience gained from a variety of business sectors, in particular advising AIM companies and serving on boards of growing and successful companies, will be of great value to our business as we expand and deliver on our significant potential.

    "As a qualified accountant he will be taking over as Chair of the Audit Committee and Chair of the Risk Committee."


    Commenting on his appointment Charles Cattaneo added:

    "This is an exciting time to join Westminster Group, I look forward to serving on the Board making a significant contribution to Corporate Governance and supporting the Board's strategy to make Westminster a substantial international security services company in the infrastructure sector."


    James Sutcliffe

    James Sutcliffe, by agreement, will be leaving the Westminster Group Plc board to take on the role as Chairman of the International Advisory Board, where the benefit of his extensive international experience and high-level Government contacts overseas can be of significant value to the Company's business development and expansion going forward.

    The following details in relation to the appointment of Mr Cattaneo are disclosed in accordance with Schedule 2(g) of the AIM Rules:


    Current directorships

    Past directorships held within the last five years

    Cattaneo LLP Mediwatch plc

    Cattaneo Corporate Finance Solutions Home of Fast Food Limited

    Limited Glide 2 Limited

    Future Screen Partners No.1 LLP

    Owen Film Partnership LLP

    International Automotive Engineering

    Projects Limited


    Charles was a director of Home of Fast Food Limited at the time that a liquidator was appointed in February 2016. The liquidation was solvent and a final distribution of £135,000 was made to shareholders.


    There are no other disclosures in accordance with Schedule 2(g) of the AIM Rules.
     
  2. Groucho

    Groucho Member

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    RNS Number : 3270O
    Westminster Group PLC
    29 January 2019

    Westminster Group Plc

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

    Business and Trading Update

    and Notice of Results


    Westminster Group Plc (AIM: WSG), a leading supplier of managed services and technology-based security solutions worldwide,is pleased to provide a trading update for the 12 months to 31 December 2018 and its business activities.


    Following a particularly strong H2 performance in 2018 the Group expects to report a 33% year on year increase in revenues to circa£7.2m, an increase of£1.8mon the£5.4mreported for 2017. This increase in revenues is despite excluding$2m(£1.6m) of expected revenues relating to the$4.5m(£3.6m) vehicle screening contract within theMiddle East, signed in March 2018, which we expected to be largely completed by the 31 December 2018, for which cash has been received from the customer in advance but which missed shipping deadlines and due to factory shutdowns is now scheduled for shipment in February 2019.


    Despite excluding the$2m(£1.6m) of expected revenues and associated profit for the vehicle screening contract mentioned above from our 2018 results, an EBITDA positive result for the full year to 31 December 2018 remains achievable, subject to final adjustments such as consolidation of the recent Keyguard acquisition, revision of accounting estimates and the potential collection of a long-term outstanding debt currently being pursued. The final position will be clear in the next few weeks with further updates being provided as appropriate.


    Trading for 2019 has started on a strong note and the$2m(£1.6m) for theMiddle Eastcontract is now expected to be booked in Q1 along with a further$224K(£176k) of commissioning works. January passenger numbers for ourWest Africaairport operations are at record levels and both our Managed Services and Technology divisions continue to have a healthy and active enquiry bank and are delivering on expectations.


    The large scale, long term security contract for one of 60 airports inIran, which was signed in May 2018, but which had to be put on hold following the US unilateral withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), remains a key focus for the Company. We continue to work closely with our Iranian client and are pleased to report that the majority of issues and challenges created by the US actions have now been addressed. The European Union is hoping to have its Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), to assist with Iranian trade transactions, in place in the early part of the year. Both parties remain committed to the project and despite the challenges continue to work towards commencing the project at the earliest opportunity.


    In November 2018 we concluded the acquisition of KeyguardU.KLtd ("Keyguard"). Keyguard is aUKbased security and risk management company providing security services to organisations and critical national infrastructure across the country. It is focused on infrastructure assets in the Construction, Renewable Energy and Transport sectors. Services include manned guarding, mobile patrols, risk management and K9 services. The company has now been successfully integrated into the Group and is now operating from our corporate HQ inOxfordshire. The acquisition has been immediately earnings enhancing, is expected to bring circa£1.5mpa of additional recurring revenue, and is synergistic to our business.


    We have made good progress with a number of large-scale project opportunities under discussion and in our Interim Report in September we announced that we continued to work towards signing at least one further long-term Managed Services contract during the year although, as always, there is never certainty as to timing or outcome in these matters. In this respect we announced in December that the Chairman, Sir Tony Baldry, and CEO Peter Fowler, had recently returned fromAfricahaving finalised discussions on one of our long-term airport security projects. Contracts have been drafted and, at the request of the client, Westminster have signed, and we await counter signature from the government. We have also made material advances with a number of other airport prospects, which have been in discussion for some time. Whilst there is never certainty as to timing or outcome in such matter we remain encouraged by developments and will update on these and all material developments when appropriate


    Cash

    At 31 December 2018, the Group had free cash available of circa£0.7m(after taking into account the remaining balance of supply costs still to be paid by Westminster to the end supplier pending final delivery of the middle eastern vehicle screening contract).


    Board Changes

    In our Annual Report issued in June 2018 we reported on the progress of our strategic review and the need to have the right people, processes and systems in place to successfully deliver our planned growth and as part of that process we have continued to strengthen our Board and senior management.


    On 31 January 2018 Sir Tony Baldry moved from Non-Executive to Executive Chairman. As a former Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, with a range of responsibilities includingSouth Asia,Africa,North Americaand the West Indies, a former Governor of the Commonwealth Institute and a member of the Overseas Development Institute, Sir Tony's experience and insight into the emerging markets we are working in is proving to be invaluable.


    On 1 June 2018 Patsy Baker joined the Board as a non-executive director and chair of the Disclosure and Nomination Committees. Patsy has enormous experience of companies growing their global business and brings considerable public relations experience to the Board.


    On 1 November 2018 Mark Hughes BSc MBA FCA joined the Board as CFO. Mark's wide-ranging international experience, particularly in emerging markets together with his considerable experience in capital markets and in M&A work as CFO of listed (main market and AIM) venture capital, private and private equity owned companies, is a great asset in assisting the Company achieve its growth potential.


    On 17 January 2019 we announced Charles Cattaneo joined the Board as a non-executive director and chair of the Audit and Risk Committees. Charles is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants inEnglandandWales, a Fellow of the Securities and Investment Institute and has over 30 years' corporate finance experience gained in investment banking, industry and the accounting profession. Charles has been a director of a number of public and private companies and is currently the Chairman of theWest MidlandsRegional Advisory Group of the London Stock Exchange.


    Also, on 17 January 2019 we announced James Sutcliffe was leaving the PLC Board to take on the role as Chairman of the International Advisory Board, where the benefit of his extensive international experience and high-level Government contacts overseas can be of significant value to the Company's business development and expansion going forward. There are already signs that this will produce future interesting contracts.


    We therefore have a strong board with diverse skills and expertise.


    Outlook

    We are pleased with our 2018 results and most encouraged with the strong start to 2019 both in terms of our operations and in the progression of our various large-scale opportunities. Delivering on one or more of these opportunities will represent a major step forward towards achieving the Group's strategic growth objectives.



    Notice of Results

    Westminster will announce its Final Results for the 12 months to 31 December 2018 on Friday 24 May 2019.
     
  3. Groucho

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    08 February 2019

    Westminster Group Plc

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

    Issue of Equity to raise £500,000

    Westminster Group Plc (AIM: WSG), a leading supplier of managed services and technology based security solutions, is pleased to announce a placing ('Placing') of 5,000,000 new ordinary shares of 10p each ('Ordinary Shares') at 10p per Ordinary Share to raise £500,000 before expenses.

    Placing

    To further support the development of the Company, with a particular focus on preparation for the various projects outlined in the Business and Trading Update released on 29 January, the Company has conditionally raised £500,000 before expenses by means of a Placing undertaken on behalf of the Company by SVS Securities Plc ('SVS'). The Placing will result in the issue of 5,000,000 new Ordinary shares ('Placing Shares') at a price of 10p per share representing, in aggregate, approximately 3.7% of the issued share capital of the Company as enlarged by the issue of the Placing Shares.

    The Placing is conditional upon admission of the Placing Shares to trading on AIM becoming effective in accordance with the AIM Rules ('Admission') and the placing agreement between the Company and SVS becoming unconditional and not being terminated in accordance with its terms prior to Admission.

    Application will be made for the Placing Shares, which will rank pari passu with the Company's existing issued Ordinary Shares, to be admitted to trading on AIM. It is expected that Admission will become effective and that dealings in the Placing Shares on AIM will commence at 8:00am on or around 22 February 2019.

    Appointment of Joint Broker

    With immediate effect, following successful completion of the Placing, the Company has agreed to appoint SVS as joint brokers to the Company.

    Extension of Warrants

    The Company has agreed with the holder of the 589,330 warrants issued in February 2016 with a strike price of 20.15p to extend the expiry date by one year to 22 February 2020.

    Total Voting Rights

    In accordance with the Financial Conduct Authority's Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules ('DTRs'), the Company hereby announces that following Admission of the Placing Shares, it will have 135,027,511 Ordinary Shares in issue, none of which are held in treasury. Therefore, following Admission the total number of voting rights in the Company is 135,027,511.

    The above figure of 135,027,511 may be used by shareholders in the Company as the denominator for the calculations by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change in their interest in, the share capital of the Company under the DTRs.
     
  4. Groucho

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    24 April 2019

    Westminster Group Plc

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

    New$3.48m USDContract Award -Asia


    Westminster Group Plc (AIM: WSG), a leading supplier of managed services and technology-based security solutions worldwide,is pleased to announce that its Technology Division has been awarded a contract for the provision of advanced container screening solutions to two separate ports in an Asian country.


    The contract, which has been under negotiation for several months, entails the provision of advanced screening of containers at two ports inAsia.


    The project will commence as soon as export licencing has been granted. Under the contract circa$3.05mrelates to the supply and installation of the systems, which are expected to be largely delivered during Quarter 4 2019, and circa$430krelates to maintenance services over the next two years.



    Commenting on the contract award Peter Fowler, Chief Executive of Westminster Group, said:

    "I am delighted to be able to announce this latest new contract award for large scale screening solutions, which has been secured after a prolonged period of negotiations.

    "Having recently delivered the remainder of the$4.5m USDvehicle screening contract in theMiddle East, which the Company secured in 2018, this latest award for container screening at two ports inAsiais a testament to Westminster's expertise and global reach.

    "We have commenced 2019 on a strong note ahead of budget and this latest award underpins our expectations for the year.

    "Security of ports, like airports, is a high priority for governments around the world and Westminster have been developing wide ranging solutions covering various aspects of port and airport security. This contract is one of several large-scale projects we are currently negotiating in different parts of the world."
     
  5. Groucho

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    01 May 2019

    Westminster Group Plc

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

    Acquisition of Euro Ops SRL France



    Westminster Group Plc(AIM: WSG), a leading supplier of managed services and technology-based security solutions worldwide is pleased to announce the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of French aviation security and support services company Euro Ops SRL ('Euro Ops') along with the business and assets of Euro Ops International SRL ('Euro Ops Int.'). Highlights of the acquisition include:



    · Acquisition provides Westminster with a French based subsidiary with increased access to Francophone countries

    · Strategically structured deal - acquiring non-trading sister company which provides the benefits of the business activities of Euro Ops Int. without any past incumbrances

    · Operates in aviation sector expanding Westminster's geographic coverage

    · Expands Westminster's business clients and contacts in the sector

    · Additional revenue streams to the Group

    · Euro Ops owner and director highly qualified and well respected in the sector

    · Expected maximum cost of£30k, subject to working capital requirements of the business



    Introduction to Euro Ops:

    Euro Ops is a French based aviation security and support services company which, through its sister company, Euro Ops International (also trading as ICare), provides aviation support services such as Airport Security, Aircrew Management, Humanitarian Logistics, Operations & Dispatch, Ground Handling etc. The business operates primarily in emerging markets particularly in Francophone Africa providing humanitarian assignments and is responsible for sending teams all over the world to assist the UN and NGO's.



    The business was established in 2002 by managing Director, Vincent Toscani. Vincent is well known to the Company and has provided services to it in the past. With over three decades of experience in the Aviation environment Vincent is well-respected and highly qualified within the aviation sector holding, amongst other things, the IATA Aviation Security Operation Diploma and is an ICAO AVSEC Instructor and National Inspector.



    More information on Euro Ops may be found on their websitehttps://www.euro-ops.com



    The Transaction:

    Euro Ops itself has minimal trading with insignificant assets and has no incumbrances other than a Directors Loan Account which is being satisfied as part of the consideration. The consideration payable is€20,000Euros to include working capital. Euro Ops will acquire the business and assets of Euro Ops Int. and become operational retaining the Euro Ops name within the Group. Under the acquisition agreement all future contracted business and revenues, previously conducted though the sister businesses, will now be conducted through Euro Ops. Euro Ops Int.'s turnover for the year ended 31 December 2017 was approximately€258k.



    The acquisition costs have been funded from the Company's existing resources.



    Rationale for Acquisition:

    The acquisition of Euro Ops not only provides Westminster with a French base but also expands the Company's experienced and qualified aviation management team.



    A French based operation is strategically important for the Company enabling better access to Francophone countries, particularly inAfrica, which offer considerable business opportunities for Westminster. The French office will also complement our German operation providing the Company with a broader European footprint.



    Euro Ops is a small company, but it provides Westminster with new customers and an additional revenue stream with exciting growth potential whilst Vincent Toscani himself brings additional skills, contacts, and access to contracting manpower to the Group.



    Commenting on the acquisition of Euro Ops, Peter Fowler, Chief Executive of Westminster Group, said:



    "I am delighted to be able to announce the acquisition of Euro Ops. We have been exploring ways to develop the Francophone market for some time and the acquisition of Euro Ops now provides us with an ideal opportunity to grow our business in such regions, both from Euro Ops existing business activities and also through the expansion of Westminster's airport and managed services business.



    "I am equally delighted that Vincent Toscani will remain with the business. Vincent is a knowledgeable and well-respected operator within the sector and is a valuable addition to our airport security management team and will help drive the business forward."



    Commenting on joining Westminster, Vincent Toscani, founder of Euro Ops said:



    "Having provided services to Westminster in the past I have always been impressed by their professionalism and I am now very happy to be part of the Group. My team and I are excited about growing our business and delivering new business opportunities given the reputation, experience and professional support of Westminster."



    Update on final adjustments to 2018 results:



    As noted in the Company's RNS of 29 January 2019, the Company's trading result for the year ended 31 December 2018 remained subject to various potential adjusting matters such as consolidation of the recent Keyguard acquisition, revision of accounting estimates and the potential collection of a long-term outstanding debt currently being pursued. The Company will provide a further update once these matters, which are nearing conclusion, have been finalised.
     
  6. Groucho

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    22 May 2019

    Westminster Group Plc

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

    Extension of Convertible Secured Loan Note and Results Update



    Westminster Group Plc(AIM: WSG), a leading supplier of managed services and technology-based security solutions worldwide is pleased to announce that it has agreed with noteholders to extend the maturity date of its Convertible Secured Loan Note ("CLN") to 30 June 2020.



    Variation of Convertible Secured Loan Note:

    The Company's£4mCLN facility, initially issued on 19 June 2013, was further extended on 25 May 2018 with an annualcoupon of 12% until 30 June 2019 and thereafter, if not paid down, an annual coupon of 15% until the final maturity date of 31 December 2019 with a conversion price of 25p per share. The current outstanding principal stands at£2.245m.


    Whilst the Company plans to repay the CLN at the earliest opportunity, the extension until 30 June 2020 announced today gives the Company the flexibility for a strategic and planned paydown of the CLN, at a time of its choosing, to avoid adversely affecting the Group's business activities.


    Under the terms of the CLN extension, the conversion price on any unredeemed or unconverted CLN will be 15p per share until 30 September 2019, 12.5p per share from 1 October 2019 until 31 December 2019, and 10p per share from 1 January 2020 until the new maturity date of 30 June 2020. The annual coupon payable on any unredeemed or unconverted CLN amount will be 15% from 1 April 2019 until 30 June 2020. The terms have also been amended so that the Company may redeem the CLN holding in whole or in part at any time without restriction or penalty.


    All other terms of the CLN remain unchanged. The CLNs are listed on The International Stock Exchange (TISE), formerly the Channel Islands Securities Exchange.


    Results Update:

    The Company will issue its Annual Results for the 12 months to 31 December 2018 on Friday 24 May 2019.


    The Annual Results will report that the Group made strong progress in 2018 with a 24% year on year increase in revenues to£6.7m, an increase of£1.3mon the£5.4mreported for 2017,resulting in an expected significantly improved EBITDA loss of£378,000(2017: loss of£1,234,000). These results were achieved despite the delay in recognising turnover relating to theMiddle Eastscreening project related to shipping delays over the holiday period which, upon review, has resulted in a higher level of turnover becoming recognised in Q1 2019 than was originally expected at the time of the Company's trading update of 29 January 2019 ("Trading Update").


    The Company's EBITDA result is still subject to the collectionof an old and sizeable long-term debt, previously written off, referred to in the Trading Update, which is now potentially recoverable and being actively pursued. If received before the results, which is less likely now given the timescale, it would create a positive 2018 EBITDA, however if it is collected post the results date it will be recognised in the 2019 results.
     
  7. Groucho

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    24 May 2019

    Westminster Group Plc

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

    2018 Final Results and Notice of AGM


    Westminster Group Plc (AIM: WSG), a leading supplier of managed services and technology-based security solutions worldwide is pleased to announce its Final Results for the 12 months ended 31 December 2018.



    Highlights


    Operational:

    · Strong performance by both Managed Services and Technology Divisions

    · Significant progress with several large-scale project opportunities

    · Supplied numerous clients in around 53 countries across the world

    · In March 2018 signed a $4.5million USD contract for advanced vehicle screening solutions within the Middle East.

    · In May 2018 signed a 15-year contract, worth c €24million Euro per annum but placed on hold following US withdrawal from JCPOA

    · West Africa airport operations performed well, strong H2 passenger growth

    · Provided training throughout 2018 to various airports, including several major hubs, across the Middle East, Africa and Asia

    · In November 2018 acquired UK security and risk management company, Keyguard U.K Ltd expected to deliver revenues of circa £1.5m per annum

    · Recurring revenue from maintenance and service contracts increased by over 59% to £376k per annum (2017: £236k)

    · New long-term airport project in Africa progressed to contract stage in December 2018, waiting for completion of client's internal reorganisation for counter signature

    · Board strengthened in terms of skills and experience with the appointment of two new non-executive directors, Lady Patricia Lewis (Patsy Baker) in May 2018 and Charles Cattaneo in January 2019 and with the appointment of Mark Hughes as CFO in November 2018 replacing Martin Boden



    Financial:

    · Revenues up by 24% to £6.7m (2017: £5.4m) - despite revenues of £2.2m relating to the Middle East project slipping from Q4 2018 to Q1 2019

    · Third consecutive year of growth double digit revenue growth

    · EBITDA loss of £0.38m (2017: loss £1.23m)

    · Total Equity / Net Assets grew from £0.1m in 2017 to £1.1m in 2018



    Post period End:

    · 2019 commenced on a strong and profitable note with Q1 orders and revenues ahead of budget

    · Q1 2019 passenger numbers for our West Africa airport operations were at record levels

    · Completed balance of $4.5 million USD Middle East screening contract secured in 2018

    · In April 2019 announced a $3.4 million USD contract for the provision of advanced container screening solutions to two separate ports in Asia

    · In May 2019 completed acquisition of Euro Ops providing the Group with a French base and better access to Francophone countries



    Commenting on the Results and prospects, Peter Fowler, Chief Executive of Westminster, said:

    "We have seen steady year on year revenue growth over the past few years and we expect this to continue. Based on our current order book, the improvement in our airport passenger numbers and our run rate business, including Keyguard and Euro Ops, we expect 2019 revenues to be significantly ahead of 2018 even without any further new major contract awards, which of course would materially improve the results.

    "Over the next few months and years we have an opportunity to achieve unprecedented growth from the prospects we are pursuing, and the Board and I remain committed to delivering on this potential."



    Notice of Annual General Meeting and form of Proxy:

    The Notice of Annual General Meeting to be held at 11am on 18 June 2019 at the offices of BDO, 150 Aldersgate, London, EC1A 4AB, and the form of Proxy were posted to shareholders on 23 May 2019. Shareholders wishing to attend the AGM should bring a form of identity and proof of their shareholding.
     
  8. Groucho

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    RNS Number : 5210C
    Westminster Group PLC
    18 June 2019

    THIS ANNOUNCEMENT CONTAINS INSIDE INFORMATION FOR THE PURPOSES OF ARTICLE 7 OF EU REGULATION 596/2014

    Westminster Group Plc

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

    AGM Statement


    Westminster Group Plc (AIM: WSG), a leading supplier of managed services and technology-based security solutions worldwide, will hold its Annual General Meeting todayat 11am at the offices of BDO LLP, 150 Aldersgate Street,London, EC1A 4AB. At the meeting, Westminster's Chief Executive, Peter Fowler, will provide shareholders with the following update:


    "In our 2018 Annual Report I was pleased to report that our business is now in a better position than it has been for some time in terms of management, structure, revenues and prospects. Trading for 2019 has started on a strong note with both order intake and revenues ahead of budget.


    "Passenger numbers for ourWest Africaairport operations for the first five months of 2019 are at record levels and both our Managed Services and Technology divisions continue to have a healthy and active enquiry bank.


    "In April 2019, our Technology division announced the award of a USD$3.4millioncontract for the provision of advanced container screening solutions to two separate ports in an Asian country, which had been under negotiation for several months. Having earlier this year delivered the remainder of the USD$4.5mvehicle screening contract in theMiddle East, which the Company secured in 2018, this latest award for container screening inAsiais a testament to Westminster's expertise and global reach.


    "In our 2018 Annual Report we announced that as part of our expansion strategy we are looking at both acquisition and strategic joint venture opportunities to complement our many organic growth prospects.


    "Today I am delighted to be able to announce significant developments that demonstrate the benefits of this strategy.


    "In March this year, following several months of discussions, we entered into a Technical Partnership Agreement with a Ghanaian company, Scanport Ltd. with the aim and purpose of entering into substantive negotiations with Meridian Port Services Limited ('MPS') regarding a contract to manage, operate, maintain and upgrade, as necessary, the container screening services at the new Tema Container Port inGhana,West Africa. Westminster's role as technical partner is to provide the requisite expertise and management of the operation.


    "The new Tema Container Port is a$1billioninvestment project by MPS, expanding the port's capacity from 1 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units ('TEU') pa to over 3.5 million pa, creating a world-class container port operation. The facility incorporates some of the largest and most advanced Ship-to-Shore cranes in the world, designed to accommodate the world's largest container ships. The port has advanced automated systems and processing incorporating world-class technologies, including the container screening solutions, ensuring that there will be 100% screening of all containers entering or leaving the port. The port is due to commence operations later this month, on 28 June 2019.


    "Given the imminent opening of the port and the need for preparatory operations to commence immediately, I am pleased to report that Scanport has now received a letter of intent with MPS acknowledging Westminster as the Technical Partner and setting out the preliminary terms regarding the appointment and scope of work. The document confirms exclusivity whilst final rates and the formal agreement are finalised, indicating this should be concluded within 30 days.


    "Accordingly, our advanced deployment team have arrived inGhanatoday to begin preparations for the commissioning and handover of the screening equipment from the manufacturers and the recruitment, training and deployment of the screening personnel and the setting up of offices and logistics etc. Our revenues will commence once the final terms have been agreed and the formal contract finalised and we expect, once fully underway, that this potential contract will materially increase our annual revenues with the screening operation also expected to generate several hundred new jobs inGhana. Further details on this substantial, exciting and long-term managed services project will be announced in due course.


    "There are further Joint Venture and Strategic Partnerships currently being negotiated in different parts of the world which we will announce at the appropriate time.


    "In terms of our acquisition strategy, following on from our acquisition of Keyguard in 2018 which is now fully integrated into the Group, I was pleased to be able to announce in May 2019 that we acquired the French company, Euro Ops, providing us with a French base and better access to Francophone countries, particularly inAfrica. I am pleased to report that the Euro Ops team have already generated interest for our long-term airport security programmes in several countries in Francophone Africa. As always there is never certainty as to outcome or timing, but we are very encouraged by the level of activity and performance of Euro Ops since acquisition.


    "In our 2018 Annual Report we announced the opening of our new training facility based at our Headquarters in Banbury,Oxfordshire, and that we have already delivered specialist training from delegates from one of the largest airlines inEurope. We believe this training facility opens up new business opportunities for the Group. By way of example, we are now contracted to provide specialist x-ray threat image identification training for a new overseas governmental client. The facility is also currently in the process of achieving the Security Industry Authority accreditation enabling us to deliver a broad cross section of certified training courses beyond Aviation Training. We expect this facility to open up new training opportunities both within theUKand overseas.


    "Also, in our 2018 Annual Report we announced we have received offers for the Sierra Queen which is for sale following disposal of the Ferry business and I am pleased to report there have been positive developments in this respect and we will provide an announcement on this as and when a contract has been signed.


    Outlook


    "We have seen steady year on year revenue growth over the past few years with 2018 being 24% up on the previous year. We expect this to continue. Based on our current order book, the improvement in our airport passenger numbers and our run rate business, including Keyguard and Euro Ops, we expect 2019 revenues to be significantly ahead of 2018 even without any further new major contract awards, which of course would materially improve the results. We are in a sound financial position having extended the term of our Convertible Loan Note Facility until 30 June 2020, as reported in the announcement of 22 May 2019 and currently have circa£530,000in cash.


    "We continue to monitor and process our various large-scale managed services prospects around the world this includes theAfricaairport project which we provided an update on in our 2018 Annual Report for which we continue to await the outcome of the clients internal reorganisation and our Iranian contract which remains on hold whilst we continue to closely monitor the geopolitical situation and the future of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Whilst it no longer features in our short-term internal forecasts, as mentioned in our 2018 Annual Report we are investigating potential arrangements that could be put in place that could unlock or preserve the potential of this project without affecting the Group's other business or banking arrangements.


    "Amongst the many large-scale project opportunities we are pursuing there are several under signed Memorandum of Understanding ('MoU'), some of which we have previously announced and of those, excluding the two we have previously advised in the 2016 Annual report as long-term prospects and one which is in a region affected by the Iranian issue, all remain active and any one or more of which may lead to significant business in the future.


    "Due in part to the confidential nature of such projects and commercial sensitivity, as previously advised, we are no longer announcing or commenting on any individual MoU or project opportunity as this can lead to speculation particularly as negotiations can ebb and flow over prolonged periods and take some time to reach a final outcome. We will of course update the market on material developments as appropriate and in accordance with our regulatory responsibilities, as we have done this morning in respect of ourGhanaproject.


    "Whilst operating in emerging markets does carry a higher risk of delays and disruption, is time consuming and involves a greater degree of frustration and bureaucracy, with perseverance and diligence the potential rewards are substantial and the strategy we are pursuing is, we believe, both ambitious and correct.


    "Over the next few months and years we have an opportunity to achieve unprecedented growth from the prospects we are pursuing, and the Board and I remain committed to delivering on this potential."
     
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  10. Groucho

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    21 June 2019

    Westminster Group Plc

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

    New Joint Venture

    Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


    Westminster Group Plc (AIM: WSG), a leading supplier of managed services and technology-based security solutions worldwide,is pleased to announce that has entered into a joint venture agreement with a significant partner in theKingdom of Saudi Arabia('KSA' or the "Kingdom"), Hazar International ('Hazar').


    Hazar has been providing products and services in a broad range of industries, particularly within the aviation sector, for over 30 years, both withinSaudi Arabiaand the Gulf Cooperation Council group of countries ('GCC').


    Westminster and Hazar have entered into a formal shareholders agreement with a view to forming a 50.1% Group owned joint venture subsidiary, registered inSaudi Arabia, under the name Westminster Arabia ('the JV Agreement'). Under the terms of the JV Agreement the Parties have agreed to work exclusively together in the pursuit, amongst other things, of large-scale and long-term managed services security projects at KSA's ports and airports. The Parties have also acknowledged and agreed that Westminster has business interests and prospects in many counties around the world and this Agreement will not in any way affect Westminster's business outside ofSaudi Arabia.


    Commenting on the joint venture Westminster's Chief Executive Officer, Peter Fowler, said:

    "I am delighted and honoured to have agreed terms and entered into this joint venture arrangement with Hazar International who, under their impressive Chairman, Sheikh Salman Bin Mohammed Bin Khalid Bin Hethlain, are a strong and influential partners.

    "The business opportunities for Westminster's products and services withinSaudi Arabiaare substantial and the formation of Westminster Arabia will represent an important strategic development for the Group.

    "Under the Saudi Vision 2030 Privatisation Programme, introduced by his Highness the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman,the government's objective is to strengthen the role of the private sector by unlocking state-owned assets by entering into Public Private Partnerships and Build-Operate-Transfer concession arrangements and outsourcing of services. This includes the country's ports and airports. These objectives are a good fit for Westminster's business model.

    "Saudi Arabia'smaritime network is unrivalled in theMiddle East, handling a capacity of approximately eight million twenty-foot equivalent containers per year and receiving 11,000 ships annually through 10 primary harbours. Saudi ports dominate the regional transit market, handling more than 90 percent of Red Sea trade transits and 30 percent of East African trade transits.

    "There are currently 28 airports in the Kingdom, six are international, nine are regional and 13 are domestic. Three of its airports are amongst the busiest in the GCC, transporting the bulk of the 82 million passengers who pass through the Kingdom on a yearly basis.

    "We have already held joint meetings with both port and airport authorities within the country and further meetings are being organised. Whilst there is never certainty of timing or outcome of any such prospects, we are extremely encouraged by the opportunities this latest growth strategy offers."
     
  11. Groucho

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    28 June 2019

    Westminster Group Plc

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

    Formal Opening of Tema Port, Ghana


    Westminster Group Plc (AIM: WSG), a leading supplier of managed services and technology-based security solutions worldwide, is pleased to note the formal opening of the new Tema Port facility today, Friday 28 June 2019.

    In the Company's AGM Statement on 18 June, it was announced that Westminster had entered into a Technical Partnership Agreement with a Ghanaian company, Scanport Ltd. with the aim and purpose of entering into substantive negotiations with Meridian Port Services Limited ('MPS') regarding a contract to manage, operate, maintain and upgrade, as necessary, the container screening services at this new port. It was also noted that a Letter of Intent was received setting out the preliminary terms regarding the appointment and scope of work and that negotiations were underway towards concluding a contract within the 30-day exclusivity period. These negotiations are proceeding, and draft contracts have now been exchanged. Westminster's revenues will commence once the final terms have been agreed and the formal contract finalised. Further details will be announced in due course.

    The first phase of the $1 billion USD Tema Port expansion project will be formally opened for business today with commercial operations expected to commence on 2 July 2019 when the facility is expected to receive the first vessel to discharge its cargo consignment.

    Westminster is pleased to confirm that it has a team on the ground which has already undertaken the initial phase of recruitment and training, and that scanning trials have been undertaken ready for commencement of scanning operations.

    For further information on the port please see http://mps-gh.com/tema-port-expansion-project/
     
  12. Groucho

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    05 July 2019

    Westminster Group Plc

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

    New Strategic Alliance

    Gulf Aviation Academy,Bahrain


    Westminster Group Plc (AIM: WSG), a leading supplier of managed services and technology-based security solutions worldwide,is pleased to announce that has entered into a Strategic Alliance Agreement with the Gulf Aviation Academy ofBahrain('GAA') for the provision of aviation and other specialised training services.


    GAA is a leading provider of professional aviation training inBahrainand the widerMiddle EastandNorth Africa('MENA') region offering a comprehensive range of structured training programmes and courses for all aviation personnel in the industry.

    Westminster and GAA have entered into a formal Strategic Alliance Agreement ('Agreement') under which the parties agree to combine their individual strengths and explore business opportunities both within their own markets and jointly worldwide. This collaboration will cover two areas:

    1. Joint Initiative International Training Programmes ('JIITPs'); and

    2. Special Joint Programmes ('SJPs').


    Under JIITPs both parties will offer each other's training programmes at their respective training centres and will jointly market the extensive combined range of courses and services worldwide.

    Under SJPs the parties will endeavour to jointly promote other products and services beyond training such as airport security equipment and management programmes.

    The Agreement is for an initial period of three years and nothing in the Agreement prevents either party from continuing to individually market their own products and services around the world.

    Commenting on the Strategic Alliance Westminster's Chief Executive Officer, Peter Fowler, said:

    "I am delighted to be able to announce this Strategic Alliance with the Gulf Aviation Academy as they are an impressive and highly professional aviation training organisation and their wide range of courses is complimentary to and further expands the extensive range of courses already offered by Westminster.

    "The International Civil Aviation Organisations ('ICAO') has just 35 registered Aviation Security Training Centres ('ASTCs') worldwide authorised to run ICAO certified courses, of which the GAA academy inBahrainis one.

    "This initiative is a further enhancement to our recently opened Training Centre in theUK.

    "The Strategic Alliance is an exciting development for both Westminster and GAA, greatly expanding our range of services to existing and potential clients. It opens up new markets and business opportunities for both companiesas well as increasing the capacity for the delivery of ICAO and International Air Transport Association ('IATA') courses through ASTC registered trainers in both Arabic and English."


    Commenting on the Strategic Alliance GAA's Chief Executive Officer, Capt. Dhaffer Al Abbasi, said:

    "Joining hands with the world-renowned Westminster Group opens up an array of opportunities, further extending our reach and offering our clients jointly enhanced programs to meet and exceed expectations."
     
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    17 July 2019


    Westminster Group Plc

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

    Update New Tema Container Port Project, Ghana


    Westminster Group Plc (AIM: WSG), a leading supplier of managed services and technology-based security solutions worldwide, is pleased to provide an update on its operations at the new Tema Container Port, Ghana

    The new Tema Container Port is a $1.5billion US Dollar investment project by Meridian Port Services ('MPS'), expanding the port's capacity from 1 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units ('TEU') pa to over 3.5 million p.a., creating a world-class container port operation.

    In the Company's AGM Statement released on 18 June 2019, it was announced that Scanport Ltd. had received a Letter of Intent ('LoI') with MPS acknowledging Westminster as the Technical Partner regarding a contract to manage, operate, maintain and upgrade, as necessary, the container screening services at the new Tema Container Port setting out the preliminary terms regarding the appointment and scope of work and that negotiations were underway towards concluding a contract within the 30-day exclusivity period.

    Whilst formal contracts have not yet been finalised, the Scanport-Westminster partnership is the sole appointed contractor for scanning operations at the new port and has established a full scanning operation both at the primary scanning stations at the import and export gates and also secondary screening services at the intensive search area for physical inspections; in total employing around 50 personnel with another 124 applicants undertaking induction and x-ray training by Westminster specialists. The LoI is therefore being extended for a further period to allow for the definitive contract to be finalised with MPS.

    The first phase of the port expansion project was formally opened for business on Friday 28 June 2019 and the first two trial vessels have been successfully processed as all operations, including screening, at the port are tested to iron out any teething issues. The scanning services have performed well and are now operational 24/7 with around 2,000 containers screened by us to date.

    Following successful operations across the port, it is expected that activity will continue to ramp up during the coming months as more and more vessels move to the new port.

    Further details will be announced in due course.
     

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