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New contracts lift Serco profits 33%

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Service group Serco has reported a 33% rise in pre-tax profits after winning a record level of contracts.

The group employs more than 70,000 people and around 90% of the company’s work is in the public sector with a majority of contracts carried out in the UK.

Figures show profits rose to £83.4m in the first half of 2009 and its performance in the second half of the year is also strong following an additional £500m of contracts.

Serco has said it is now on target to meet its guidance for 2009 results, which led shares in the FTSE 100 Index to rise by 6%.

The group now has an order book worth almost £17bn, which Panmure Gordon stockbrokers said provides “excellent” near-term visibility.

The group is responsible for traffic management systems covering more than 17,500 kilometres of roads worldwide.

It also provides computer and software support services and operates London’s Docklands Light Railway and Manchester’s Metrolink tram system.

It has also recently been named as the preferred bidder on three contracts in North Wales, West Midlands and Greater Manchester under the Government’s Flexible New Deal initiative to help jobseekers.

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