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Gloucestershire Business News

Covid testing contractor Serco sees healthy profit

Outsourcing giant Serco has seen its profits jump by 31% to £116 million in the six months to June, helped by its strong involvement in the Government's Covid-19 response.

In June, the company, with contracts for the NHS Test and Trace programme, won a further tender worth up to £322 million to continue running coronavirus testing sites for another year.

Rupert Soames, Serco Group chief executive, said: "We believe that as a result of Covid-19 related contracts our skills and capabilities will be greater and our reputation with governments will be enhanced.

"We take the £4bn of order intake we have won in the first half as encouraging early evidence of this, and it will certainly help to cushion the impact of the inevitable wind-down of Covid-19 related work."

Revenue for the company grew by 19% to £2.2 billion. About 17% of its first half revenues were directly associated with work supporting governments worldwide in their response to Covid-19.

Soames added: "Our three largest divisions - Asia Pacific, North America and UK & Europe - all delivered good growth, and this reflects both the trust our government customers have shown in us during the pandemic, and Serco's ability to respond to their requirements with speed and at scale."

Serco has grown rapidly in the past two years. Over 60% of its profits now come from outside the UK. It now employs 83,000 people, which is around 21,000, or a third, more than it did a year ago.

In the UK, Serco works across public service sectors in justice, immigration, healthcare, defence and transport.

Its customers include NHS Trusts and local authorities, government departments and agencies, as well as other partner organisations.

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