London: G4S, the world’s biggest security firm, said nine-month sales were boosted by demand in emerging economies and increased government spend, and it planned to boost operations in both China and Brazil.
The company, formed from the 2004 merger between Denmark’s Group 4 and Britain’s Securicor, said operating profit was up 12% on sales up 9% for the nine months to the end of September, without giving specific figures.
G4S, which supplies security guards and other safety-related services to firms in over 100 countries, added that margins rose 0.2% in the period.
Looking ahead, chief executive Nick Buckles said that the company planned to expand further both organically and through acquisitions. The company also said it was confident of winning work at the 2012 Olympic games in London.
“We’re looking to enter Brazil and invest more in China in 2010 after regulations changed there, meaning we can now, as a foreign company, own security businesses in China,” Buckles said.
“We expect to spend £100 million ($166 million) a year on acquisitions and have only spent around £55 million so far and have couple of medium-sized deals in the pipeline,” he said.
Shares in G4S, which have risen a quarter in 2009, were 0.6% lower at 251 pence by 2:50pm, valuing the group at around £3.5 billion.
“This represents a slight slowdown on the first half performance which saw organic growth of 4.8% but is still in-line with our 2009 forecast of 4.5%. However, we expect further growth in 2010,” said Seymour Pierce analyst Kevin Lapwood.
The company is expected to report an average pretax profit of £364.5 million in 2009, according to a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll of 13 analysts.