Serco sells luxury Australian rail service Great Southern Rail to Allegro

Emma Haslett
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Serco must "concentrate on its core [offering]", Soames said (Source: Getty)

Serco, the troubled outsourcer run by Rupert Soames, has extricated itself from Great Southern Rail, it announced this morning.

The company said it will sell the "luxury" long-distance rail service to Australian private equity firm Allegro for £2.5m.

Earlier this month shares in the outsourcer fell as much as 16 per cent after it posted figures showing full-year revenue had fallen to £3.95bn, down from £4.28bn a year earlier. Losses also widened, to £1.35bn, compared with a profit of £146m.

Having issued two profit warnings last year, and after its role in the criminal tagging scandal, the company is narrowing its focus.

This morning Soames said Serco "needs to concentrate on its core as a leading supplier of public services and we cannot provide the focus and investment [Great Southern Rail] needs to survive".

We will continue to build a strong transport business where Serco's capabilities can be deployed and transferred internationally, and our recent contract award to support the new North South Railway in Saudi Arabia is testament to the progress we are making.

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