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Security firm G4S full-year profit up 2.7 pct

Security firm G4S full-year profit up 2.7 pct

Britain's G4S PLC, one of the world's largest security companies, said Tuesday that its full-year 2008 profits rose 2.7 percent, helped by gains in Europe and new markets. It also said it was confident for the outlook, as economic downturns typically see higher crime rates, boosting its business.
For the year ending Dec. 31, G4S posted a net profit of 151.2 million pounds ($209.7 million), compared to 147.2 million pounds in 2007. Revenue rose 32.5 percent to 5.9 billion pounds.
Investors welcomed the earnings report, sending G4S shares up 5.6 percent to 186.4 pence on Tuesday morning on the London Stock Exchange.
"Management continues to seek smaller bolt-on acquisitions, whilst governments such as Australia and Israel continue to seek ways to reduce costs, potentially outsourcing security issues," said Keith Bowman, analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers.
"Furthermore, the relationship between deteriorating economic growth and rising crime rates is historically proven, a fact which should work to the group's advantage," Bowman said.
Acquisitions during the year included controlling interests in Defacto 1119 Limited, the holding company of the Global Solutions Group; ArmorGroup International PLC; U.S.-based RONCO Consulting Corp., which does mine-clearing and ordnance services; U.S.-based MJM Investigations, Inc., a specialist in insurance fraud mitigation; and Touchcom, Inc., a security consultant and design business in the United States.
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http://www.g4s.com/