Serco confident of delivering strong full-year growth

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Outsourcing specialist Serco, which took over the running of the Northern Isles ferry service in July, today said it remains on track to deliver “strong” growth this year.

The firm had faced the prospect of strike action by ferry staff during the festive season because of fears over job cuts, but earlier this week union leaders suspended the move following “significant progress” in talks with management.

In October, Serco confirmed it was taking over the running of Edinburgh-based insurer Aegon’s protection unit in a ten-year deal worth £190 million. The deal, which was unveiled in July, will involve about 330 staff in the Dutch-owned group’s Lytham St Annes office transferring to the outsourcing firm.

Chief executive Chris Hyman said today: “I am pleased with the operational and financial performance delivered by the group in 2012, particularly in the light of challenging conditions in some of our markets.”

Serco is due to release its full-year results on 6 March and Seymour Pierce analyst Caroline de La Soujeole said: “Following this update, we are not making any changes to forecasts or recommendation. We are expecting adjusted pre-tax profits of £275.7 million, compared with a consensus of £271.7m.”