Outsourcing group points to government spend after expected reduction in half-year profits

Pre-tax profits at outsourcing giant Interserve fell by a third in the first six months of the year to £27.3m, as the firm was hit by weaker demand for construction and equipment services.

Revenue also fell, by just 0.7%, to £944.5m, on the same period in 2009. The profit figure compares to £40m for the same period last year. However, the firm said it was pleased with the results, which hit expectations, and predicted a stronger second half for the business.

The firm said that a strong performance in the first half from previously won support services contracts was more than countered by a fall-off in equipment services, which failed to match a record 2009. It said it remained confident that in the medium term, with a forward order book of £5.7bn, that the government clampdown in spending would see more opportunities for outsourcing of public services.

UK construction revenue fell by 6.3% to £380m.

Chief Executive Adrian Ringrose: “Uncertainties persist in our markets, but we remain confident that the second half will show a significant uplift on the first half and that we have a strong international platform from which to sustain long-term growth at attractive margins.”