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12May94 UK: WESTMINSTER IN RED - WESTMINSTER SCAFFOLDING.

Heavy provisions to cover bad debts, stock write-offs, redundancies and other one-off charges kept London hirer Westminster Scaffolding in the red.The company unveiled losses of £4.23 million for the 14 months to last December after it made provisions of £2.61 million against what it described as 'non-recurring' items. In the year to October 1992 the firm lost £2.5 million.Chairman Michael Pelham said there were signs of greater activity in UK construction but these had yet to result in improved margins. He suggested an increase in the price of secondhand equipment indicated margins may improve in 1995.He said the recent re-capitalisation of Westminster, together with lower interest charges and a contribution from a depot in Kuwait would help the firm improve its results in 1994.Westminster's operating loss was slightly reduced to £1.28 million from £1.43 million last time on a turnover of £5.72 million. CONSTRUCTION NEWS