StockMarketWire.com - In the first half of 2019, Serco saw over 20% growth in underlying trading profit with revenue up 6% as it said it now expected 2019 revenue to come out in the top end of the previously announced range amid favourable currency movements.

Its 2019 revenues guidance range stands at £2.9-3bn, up from 2018's £2.837bn. It maintained Underlying Trading Profit guidance at around £105m.

For the first half of 2019, Serco said it expected to report revenue approaching £1.5bn and Underlying Trading Profit (UTP) of around £50m.

"Following a strong 2018, which marked an inflection point for Serco after several years of decline, we expect to report another good performance in the first half of 2019. The revenue growth seen in the second half of 2018 has continued, and profits and margins are both well up on the first half of last year," said Chief Executive Rupert Soames.

The company has seen "extremely strong" order intake over the period, driven by the signing of contracts for asylum accommodation and support services in the UK valued at £1.9bn and for defence healthcare provision in Australia valued at £0.6bn. Together with other new wins, rebids and extensions that have been secured, they expected over £3bn of order intake in the first half, which they said was more than they expected to take as revenues for 2019 as a whole.

During the period, the company also announced its acquisition of NSBU, a leading provider of ship and submarine design and engineering services to the US Navy. The acquisition expected to complete in H2.

The weighted average number of shares for diluted EPS purposes was previously expected to be approximately 1,145m. As a result of the Equity Placing related to the NSBU acquisition, an additional 111m shares were admitted to trading on the London Stock Exchange on 28 May 2019. As indicated in the acquisition announcement, this increases the weighted average number of shares for diluted EPS purposes to approximately 1,200m for 2019, fully annualising to approximately 1,260m for 2020.

Serco said it would be in a Closed Period between 1 July 2019 and publication of the results for the first half of the 2019 financial year on Wednesday 31 July 2019.





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