Agenda item

Westco - Mid Year Review




Part II of the Agenda will concern matters under Section 100 (A) (4) and/or Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended), as per paragraphs 1 and 3. The public and press will be excluded from the meeting for this item of business because it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information, most notably commercially sensitive information.? 





Ian Farrow, Christos Pishias and Lyndsey Gamble (Virtual) were present at the Committee:? 


·       Mr. Farrow introduced the report.  

·       Mr. Farrow talked through the financial situation, and that the company is undertakinga variety of cost reduction activities to maximise profit.  

·       Mr. Farrow explained that some activities, such as HR reductions may take some time as the company is in the process of re-negotiatingcontracts 

·       Pedro Wrobel thanked Westco for their efforts in moving to a more profitable position over the last few months.  

·       Mr. Farrow explained that the pipeline is healthier than it has ever been, which is bringing positive predictions for the first half of the next financial year.  

·       Cllr Adam Hug asked how long term the new business is. 

·       Mr. Farrow explained that 20% of their business is long term clients. 

·       Mr. Pishias said that most of the other contracts are between 6-12 months long.  

·       Cllr David Boothroyd asked if they are securing sizeable new contracts. 

·       Mr. Farrow replied that they are, and they are best for their consultancy work.  

·       Cllr Adam Hug asked that the company share more about how they’re reducing costs. 

·       Mr Farrow and Mr Pishias explained that they previously had a large creative team, but they have pivoted towards digital marketing. 

·       The company hascut its cost base down and that is has a strong pipeline for services coming through on the back of other projects, as well as upselling services.  

·       Cllr Matt Noble asked regarding the new business pipeline of 1.5m what the profit margin is on these contracts and if they are having to bring in additional resources to service these contracts  

·       Mr Farrow and Mr Pishias gave shared information on profit margins which is not recorded in these minutes as it would require disclosure of which is exempt under paragraph3, Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972. It was however confirmed that profit margins are healthy and monitored with respect to industry averages. 

·       Cllr David Boothroyd noted that he is keen for the restructuring noted in the report to go ahead.  

·       Cllr Adam Hug wanted to check that the profit position is not just because invoicing has been done more efficiently.  

·       Mr. Farrow confirmed that there is underlying profit and the p6 position is not due to timing of invoicing.   

·       They informed the committee that they are examining their financial management, and that Liz Roberts is doing deep dive of financial process, so they can make some decisions around pricing to improve margins further. 

·       Cllr Adam Hug asked when they would feel confident in giving projections for the next financial year 

·       Mr Farrow and Mr Pishias confirmed they would be looking at the next financial year towards the end of 2023.  

·       Cllr Matt Noble asked when clients are invoiced.  

·       They informed committee that some clients are partially invoiced up front and then monthly, dependent on the size of work; but most are invoiced monthly.  

·       Cllr Adam Hug asked that the committee note the report


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