G4S, the world’s biggest security firm, said yesterday it plans to boost operations in China and Brazil, as it reported a nine per cent sales increase in the first nine months of the year.<br /><br />The company, formed from the 2004 merger of Securicor and Group 4, said operating profit was up 12 per cent in the period, without giving specific figures. It said that sales were boosted by demand in emerging economies and increased government spending.<br /><br />G4S, which supplies guards and other security-related services to firms in over 100 countries, added that margins rose 0.2 per cent in the period. <br /><br />The firm has felt the impact of the recession, with customers cutting their spending. But it has also benefited from government cost-cutting leading to increased outsourcing.<br /><br />Chief Executive Nick Buckles said the company planned to expand further both organically and through acquisitions and that he was confident of winning work during the 2012 Olympic games in London.<br /><br />“We’re looking to enter Brazil and invest more in China in 2010 after regulations changed there, meaning we can now, as a foreign company, own security businesses in China,” he said. <br /><br />Buckles added: “We expect to spend £100m a year on acquisitions and have only spent around £55m so far and have a couple of medium-sized deals in the pipeline.”<br /><br />Analysts expect the company to report a pre-tax profit of £364.5m in 2009. Seymour Pierce analyst Kevin Lapwood said the figures represent a slight slowdown on the first half performance, which saw organic growth of 4.8 per cent.<br /><br />“However, we expect further growth in 2010,” he added.