Security van company G4S posts 8pc rise in first-half earnings
G4S posted an 8.2pc rise in first-half core earnings on Wednesday and maintained its dividend but the group showed limited progress in a drive to cut debt as part of an ongoing overhaul of the security business.
The world's largest security firm, currently restructuring to pay off debts and limit losses from businesses such as services to asylum seekers in the UK, said revenues rose 5.1pc. Its interim dividend, which some analysts had flagged as a source of worry, was maintained at 3.59p per share.
The company cut debt to 3.2 times core earnings (before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) from 3.3 times at the end of 2015, and said debt reduction remains one of its priorities.
Results were in line with expectations, with core earnings of £199m within a forecast range of £185m to £205m.
Uncertainty created by Britain's vote to leave the European Union, a more sluggish economy and a fall in the value of the pound making its debt in foreign currencies more expensive to service were expected to have compounded its problems in the first six months of 2016, analysts said.