August 2, 2018 / 6:14 AM / in 3 months

Serco meets H1 profit expectations, keeps guidance flags UK 'hiatus'

EDINBURGH, Aug 2 (Reuters) - British outsourcing company Serco met first-half profit expectations on Thursday and kept its 2018 guidance while highlighting a focus on foreign contracts and cost-cutting to compensate for a “hiatus” in UK public outsourcing.

Revenue at 1.37 billion pounds ($1.8 billion) was down 5.6 percent on a constant currency basis while underlying trading profit rose 20 percent to 37.6 million pounds, meeting company guidance given earlier this year.

Serco, which runs services in the defence, justice, transport and health sectors, said growth in 2019 revenue would be broadly flat.

Beyond that point its performance “will be more dependent on our ability to grow revenues and to convert loss-making contracts into profitable contracts on rebid.”

$1 = 0.7632 pounds Reporting by Elisabeth O'Leary; editing by Jason Neely

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