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  • Writer's pictureMark Watson-Mitchell

Westminster Group – the bell is ringing to get in now as profits start to flow

17th March 2021

“The outlook for 2021 is looking positive. Revenues from existing contracts, together with recent and anticipated new contract wins, are expected to put the company back on course for the double digit % growth in 2021 that we were experiencing prior to the Covid impact.”

That was from the 4 March Trading Update from the £12m capitalised Westminster Group (LON:WSG), which is a supplier of managed services and technology-based security solutions worldwide.

Something secure about this company

The group’s mission statement is “Westminster believes all citizens of the world have the right to personal safety and security.”

Its range of products is extensive and covers all forms of personal and site safety, anti-terrorism, risk reduction, defence and homeland security products and systems.

Those products can be delivered to the group’s clients anywhere in the world.

They take in screening and x-ray, detection, fire, vehicle and pedestrian management, surveillance, health and safety, inspection and search, and even explosive ordnance disposal and improvised explosive device disposal.

Global customers

The company has customers in 78 countries across six continents, including national governments, sports stadia, educational facilities, conference and exhibition centres, shopping malls, financial institutions, hospitality sector and medical centres.

The group provides equipment and services to organisations across a very wide range of sectors, such as government entities, non-governmental organisations, critical infrastructure, and commercial operations.

Names like BP, Mitie Group, the Royal Navy, HM Prison Service, the British High Commission in Ghana, Aberdeen Harbour, Menzies Aviation, AirBridgeCargo, BAT, the UN, Bhutan’s Anti-Corruption Commission, the Northern Ireland Prison Service, the International Atomic Energy Agency are just a few of those in the list.

Covid-19 saw some contract negotiations suspended

Obviously, the pressures of Covid-19 were heavy on the company and a great number of contracts were either suspended or negotiations went into limbo, with many being carried over into this trading year from January onwards.

There are still quite a number of contracts that are needing to be signed off and will probably show through when the pandemic eases.

Now debt-free and cash rich

Early last December the group raised £5m through the Placing of 125m new shares @ 4p each.

At that time the group’s CEO Peter Fowler stated that "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.”

That recent fund raising gave the group sufficient working capital going forward, while also allowing it to pay off some £2.6m of mezzanine loan facility and loan notes.

It is now debt free, apart from some small operating leases.

Good shareholders list

There are some 286.5m shares in issue.

The larger shareholders include Spreadex (7.87%), Janus Henderson (4.36%), Premier Miton (3.49%), Harwood Capital (2.97%), Canaccord Genuity Wealth (1.85%), Riverfort Global (1.57%), and Yorkville Advisors Global (1.57%).

Peter Fowler owns 6.501,794 shares, some 2.27% of the equity.

2020 results due and broker’s estimates

Either late April or early May could be when the group will announce its 2020 results.

Analyst Andrew Simms, at the company’s brokers Arden Partners, has estimated that group sales for last year actually improved from £10.9. to £11.7m, while the adjusted pre-tax loss for the year was just £0.1m lower at £0.7m.

However, Simms sees sales lifting to £16.7m this year to end December and adjusted profits before tax will be some £1.5m, worth 0.5p per share in earnings.

Broker going for 19p a share

There is a big proviso against any of the expected sales not actually coming through this year, but Simms appears positive in his ‘buy’ stance forecasting his price objective up to 19p, as compared to last night’s closing 4.2p.

My view

There is a lot going on within this group and I feel that its shares, at 4.2p, are undervalued and offer some big price upside.

Hopefully, I will become even more confident about the company after its imminent results.

In the meantime, I see the shares easily moving upwards and through my Target Price of 6p, which I set now.


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