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Westminster sales up by a fifth amid growth in managed services

Aviation security had a good year as West Africa recovered from the Ebola outbreak
One airport contract is possible this year, Westminster believes

AIM-listed security group Westminster Group PLC (LON:WSG) saw revenues rise by 23% in 2017.

The group has also raised £750,000 to fund the potentially transformational Middle East managed services contract first announced last September, while Sir Tony Baldry is to become executive chairman from non-executive previously.

READ: Westminster Group surges as it closes in on lucrative long-term project in Middle East

Westminster  added it still awaiting notification from the Middle East client on the completion of its final internal approval process, which could happen at any time.

“We believe this final approval process is imminent, but with any potential project of this size and complexity there can never be certainty of timing or outcome," it added.

Westminster said it also expects to convert at least one of a number of Middle East airport MoUs signed in 2017 into a signed contract in 2018.

Aviation security had a good year as West Africa recovered from the Ebola outbreak.

The number of embarking passengers rose by 14% to 111,000, with a record month in December. Turkish Airlines is set to start a new route into Istanbul this quarter.

Overall, managed services revenue rose 28% to £3.6mln.

READ: Westminster Group raises £750,000 via over-subscribed placing to support development of anticipated Middle East project opportunity

Technology revenue rose 10% to £1.8mln, though the sales were lower margin than previously and this division will break even compared to an underlying profit [EBITDA] of £273,000.

Westminster also took a £700,000 charge for the discontinued Sierra Leone ferry service, which it has also decided to write-off completely.

The group will still run the terminal operations for the ferries.

Revenues for 2017 are expected to rise by 23% to £5.4mln (£4.4mln) in 2017.

The EBITDA loss will be in line with the Board's expectations at around £1.2mln, of which £0.7mln arose from the discontinued ferry operations in Sierra Leone.

The placing, at 22p per share, was oversubscribed.

The appointment of Sir Tony Baldry as executive chairman will be followed by additional non-executive directors who will broaden and strengthen the board's knowledge and expertise, Westminster said.

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