G4S shares have fallen despite a rise in profits

Emma Haslett
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A police SWAT team inspects the roof of
Shares in the company slid in early trading (Source: Getty)

G4S shares fell almost five per cent in early trading, despite the outsourcer reporting a rise in half-year profits and revenues.

The figures

Revenues hit £3.7bn in the six months to the end of July, up 6.2 per cent on last year's £3.5bn. Profits before interest, taxation and amortisation rose 5.9 per cent to £235m.

The company said its sales pipeline had hit £7bn, supporting its medium-term aim of growing revenues by between four per cent and six per cent a year.

Earnings per share rose 7.8 per cent to 8.3p, while it maintained its interim dividend at 3.59p.

Shares were down six per cent at 315.6p in early trading.

Why it's interesting

The world's biggest security company has had its fair share of problems in recent years, not least the controversy when it failed to hire enough security guards for the the London 2012 Olympics.

Today the company said things are continuing to improve, with full-year revenue growth and pans to cut costs by between £90m and £100m by 2020 both fully on track.

Things are going so well for the company, it's even managed to clinch a Ministry of Justice criminal tagging contract, despite a fraud scandal under which it repaid £109m to the government. Shares have risen more than 40 per cent this year, and in June it was re-admitted to the FTSE 100, having been demoted in December 2015.

So what's eating investors today? It may have something to do with emerging markets, which make up almost 40 per cent of revenue, but which edged up just 0.1 per cent in the past six months.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: “Growth slowed in the second quarter but the group expects to meet its full year targets.

"The group is also making progress with its restructuring plans while continuing to invest in strengthening its sales operations and new products and services."

What G4S said

Ashley Almanza, the company's chief executive, said:

"We continued to make substantial progress with G4S's transformation and this provides increased confidence in the group's prospects.

The scale and quality of our pipeline is materially improved and this, together with our on-going investment in sales operations and new products and services, provides stronger support for our organic growth plans. During the second half of 2017, our growth programme will focus on consolidating contract wins made over the past year and on converting attractive opportunities in our pipeline. We expect full year revenue growth in 2017 to be broadly in line with our medium term aim of four to six per cent and we anticipate continued growth in 2018.

Read more: G4S shares rise as it unveils a nine per cent boost in revenue

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