Serco profit up on overseas performance

City A.M. Reporter
British outsourcing group Serco posted a 12 percent rise in first-half profit, boosted by a strong performance in its overseas business, and said it expected growth to continue despite continued UK and U.S. austerity headwinds.

Serco, which among other things runs London's cycle hire scheme and the Dubai metro, on Wednesday said adjusted pretax profit for the six months to 30 June was £123.6m on revenue which was five per cent higher at £2.2bn.

Serco, which has won several high profile contracts in Australia in recent months, said the Africa, Middle East, Asia and Australasia region had grown 44 per cent and now accounted for 20 percent of the group's £29bn pipeline.

The company, which now generates 43 per cent of group revenue from outside of the UK, said its order book to the end of June stood at £16.7bn, with revenue visibility of 98 per cent for 2011, 82 percent for 2012 and 69 per cent for 2013.

"Without doubt our markets in the UK and US are facing challenging conditions. However, the breadth of our portfolio and our presence in fast-growing international markets... underpin our strong growth opportunities into the future," chief executive Christopher Hyman said in a statement.