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Company spotlight: Wigmore


JUST what is going on at Wigmore Group?

The mini-construction conglomerate floated on the Alternative Investment Market in January 2002 and only a year ago was splashing out £2 million on Wiltshire contractor Blanchards.

This deal was mostly shares but Wigmore, which also includes fit-out firm Speymill and snagging operation FNPM, was forecast to break even last year and make a £600,000 profit this year.

Instead the group continued to trade in the red and shareholders' confidence has been further undermined by botched statements to the stock exchange about the date of the next results and a subsequent share suspension on May 28 pending an announcement.

When Wigmore's stock resumed trading on June 2 - two days later than hoped - the revelation of a £2.2 million financing deal caused by the group's bank withdrawing support provoked an exodus.

On top of this, Wigmore last week revealed that the meagre operating profit of £6,000 for last year has had to be revised downwards, taking the group into the red.

Shareholders had already taken pretax losses of £302,000 on the chin as this was an improvement on the £763,000 deficit in 2002 and turnover had raced up £5.1 million to £18.4 million.

The latest revelation that Wigmore really made an operating loss before goodwill of £49,000 provoked another bout of selling and any shareholders yet to sell could be in for more disappointment.