INTERNATIONAL service group Serco said it is on track to deliver forecast results for the year after a strong operational performance during its second half.
In a trading update today, covering the period from June 30, it said: “With strong operations and a high level of new contracts having recently begun, the second half of the year is seeing the forecasted improvement in financial performance.
“It is, therefore, anticipated that 2012 will be in line with expectations and our outlook is unchanged from that set out in the results announced in August.”
The group owns 50% of the Merseyrail and Northern Rail franchises and earlier this year bought the UK public sector arm of call centre specialist Vertex Data Sciences for £55.5m, including a Kirkby operation employing 350 staff.
Serco also signed a deal with Speke-based catalogues and online retail group Shop Direct in May to manage its call centre operations for 10 years and is proposing to close two of the group’s four call centres with the loss of 1,000 jobs and the possibility of further redundancies at the two remaining centres, including one in Aintree, through plans to ‘offshore’ work abroad.
Christopher Hyman, Serco chief executive, said today: “I am pleased with the business developments being made across the group, and particularly our operational achievements including the significant new contracts that have started in recent months.
“This supports the delivery of an improved financial performance in this second half and meeting expectations for the 2012 financial year.2
He added: “We continue to manage our portfolio proactively and it is showing its overall resilience and strength.”
At the half year point Serco had a £19.4bn order book and an estimated £31bn pipeline of identified opportunities around the world.
Since then, the company has been awarded a further £1.4bn of contracts, bringing the total for the year to date to £5.6bn.
It said its financial performance is weighted to the second half of the year when it expects a strong financial result.