G4S emerging markets unit boosts growth

Suzie Neuwirth
OUTSOURCING firm G4S showed it has begun to rise from the ashes of last year’s scandals yesterday, posting strong revenue growth in emerging markets.

The FTSE 100 company, which agreed to repay £108.9m to the UK government in March after overcharging on a criminal-tagging contract, said revenues had grown by 4.8 per cent in the first quarter, with emerging markets revenue soaring 16 per cent.

Developed markets’ revenue was flat compared with 2013.

G4S chief executive Ashley Almanza, who joined last year as part of a management overhaul after the fraud allegations, has had a tough job on his hands to turn around the business.

But last month the government said it welcomed G4S’s corporate overhaul plan and that it “represents the right direction of travel to meet our expectations as a customer”, giving the firm the green light to win new government work.

“G4S has had a good start to the year but at this early stage we leave our forecasts unchanged,” said Caroline de La Soujeole, analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald.

G4S’s in-line performance contrasts with peer Serco, which was also involved in the prisoner-tagging scandal. Last week it announced plans to raise £170m, alongside the departure of its longstanding finance chief Andrew Jenner. New boss Rupert Soames said performance had been “weaker than the business expected”. G4S shares closed 4.1 per cent higher.