Monday 13 July 2020 9:37 am

G4S shares surge as it revises up earnings forecast

Shares in security firm G4S have jumped nine per cent after it said a strong June has “significantly” boosted first-half earnings.

In a short update, the international company said its “underlying earnings for the first six months of 2020 will be significantly above market consensus”. 

Read more: Norwegian wealth fund blocks investment in security giant G4S on human rights concerns

G4S put this down to “a resilient trading performance during June”. It said that it will bring forward its first-half results to next week.

The company, which specialises in cash transport, provides security guards and even runs prisons, has played a number of roles during the coronavirus pandemic.

In the UK, it has managed UK coronavirus testing sites and provided security at the NHS Nightingale hospitals. 

At the end of last week analysts were predicting G4S would deliver earnings per share of 4.3p in its first-half results.

Yet the firm now thinks it will well outstrip this performance, cheering investors this morning.

G4S shares rose nine per cent to 130.2p this morning. This helped them hit their highest level since the end of March, when the UK stock market crashed.

Nonetheless, its shares remain roughly 40 per cent lower than where they started the year. That reflects the huge damage done to the UK economy and services firms that work within it.

Read more: G4S to spin off cash handling business as it posts profit fall

G4S has been hit by many scandals in recent years, including being stripped of its contract to run Birmingham prison over safety failings.

Last week it was fined £44m by the Serious Fraud Office in a deal over the electronic tagging of prisoners. G4S will avoid prosecution for overcharging the government for tagging.