Mitie targets outsourced jobs

Marion Dakers
SUPPORT services firm Mitie said it plans to cash in on growing government outsourcing in the next 12 months, as it reported a 12 per cent growth in pre-tax profit for the latest half.

Mitie said yesterday pre-tax profit for the six months to the end of September was £47.5m, while revenue grew 14.7 per cent from last year to £918.7m, largely due to recent acquisitions.

“We see a number of opportunities in the public sector, in social housing, at the ministry of justice, within education and property in particular,” chief executive Ruby McGregor-Smith told City A.M.

The firm said in an update it was speaking to the cabinet office about taking on more public sector work, with the first contracts expected in spring 2011. Mitie, which already provides security in English and Welsh courts, is bidding for work including prisoner escorting, community service and property management.

McGregor-Smith emphasised the strength of its social housing business, which makes up 40 per cent of its property management revenue, despite underlying profit in the division falling 8.1 per cent to £12.4m.

“More consolidation in the sector and good organic growth across our contracts means we are very positive about the market,” she said.

Seymour Pierce analyst Caroline de La Soujeole upgraded her rating from “reduce” to “add”, adding in a research note: “This morning’s results show that the company is clearly making good progress on its strategy of becoming a provider of integrated facilities management and … is now evolving in areas with higher growth and higher margin potential.”