Westminster reports £1.8m drop in profit
Westminster Healthcare Holdings plc has reported a drop in profits in its report covering the six months to the end of November, 1998. While turnover increased by 12.6% (to Â£78.9 million) over the corresponding period in 1987, operating profit was down by Â£0.9 million to Â£12.5 million. Pre-tax profits were down to Â£6.6 million compared to Â£8.4 million in the first half of the previous year. Westminster chairman John Lockhart said that, while the reduced profits were disappointing, the group’s financial position was strong and announced an interim dividend of 2.85p per share, unchanged from the previous year. “We remain confident about the future development of the business,” Mr Lockhart said. “The quality of the group’s long term care facilities continue to be reflected in strong occupancy levels. Margins, however, continue to suffer. The shortage of trained nurses had a considerable effect on our profitability. It was necessary to use agency staff to a much greater extent than was expected.