LONDON (Reuters) - British outsourcing group Capita (CPI.L) posted a 10 percent rise in first half profit, boosted by another acquisition spree, and said a buoyant sales market gave it confidence for a strong 2012 and beyond.
Capita, which manages over 21 million life and pension policies and provides radios for UK emergency services, on Wednesday said underlying pretax profit for the six months to June 30 was 190.7 million pounds ($296.09 million), ahead of a company compiled consensus of 188 million pounds.
The firm, which said revenues rose 15 percent to 1.6 billion pounds entirely underpinned by acquisitions, described the outsourcing market as buoyant with public sector sales activity particularly high.
Capita said it had won a record 1.3 billion pounds of work during the first half of 2012, which included a big deal to run recruitment for the British army, and had a pipeline of 4.1 billion pounds, compared to the 4.6 billion stated in February.
In April Capita raised $441 million selling new shares to help fund more acquisitions as buying opportunities improved, having originally said it would slow down buying in 2012.
In 2011 it spent 341 million pounds on 21 acquisitions and has spent a further 129 million on 10 firms this year to help offset contracts coming to an end and delays to other work caused by clients grappling with tough austerity measures.
“A stronger major contract sales performance over the past 18 months, together with the contribution from recent acquisitions... underpin our confidence in full year performance and provide a strong platform for further progression in 2013,” Capita chief executive Paul Pindar said in a statement.
Shares in Capita closed at 677.5 pence on Tuesday, up 5 percent on a month ago, valuing the business at just under 4.5 billion pounds.
($1 = 0.6441 British pounds)
Reporting by Neil Maidment; editing by James Davey