G4S beats City forecasts with rise in profits

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Security contractor G4S today posted a better-than-expected rise in operating profits, boosted by a jump in sales across emerging markets.

The group is trying to restore its reputation after a string of scandals, such as failing to provide enough security guards for the London Olympics and overcharging the UK government on a contract for tagging criminals.

Although chief executive Ashley Almanza said the firm’s performance was “satisfactory” during the first half of the year, he added: ”There remains much to be done to capture the full potential of our strategy and to strengthen the group’s performance.”

Operating profits for the six months to 30 June grew 6.3 per cent to £185 million, ahead of City forecasts of £177m.

Revenues increased 4.1 per cent to £3.4 billion, helped by a 12.1 per cent rise in emerging markets across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Sales for Europe, the UK and US were flat at £2.2bn.

The interim dividend, to be paid on 17 October, was held at 3.42p a share.