Cream of the contracts savoured by Capita
Paul Farrelly looks at the fast-growing company that has won the pounds 70m privatisation of the new written driving exam
Sunday 07 January 1996
"There's no contract for government or Labour councils on which we haven't been able to save at least 10 per cent, cutting backroom costs to plough into frontline services."
Capita Group is now in the running for new government contracts worth pounds 100m plus, and feels it has little to fear from a Labour election victory
In just a decade Capita has grown into a quoted company worth pounds 170m, cashing in on the privatisation gravy train with deals including council tax collection, selling personalised number plates, and running the controversial new nursery vouchers scheme.
Since its pounds 8m flotation in 1989, Capita has cleaned up from Tory cash limits on councils as well as enforced contracting out. "Cleaned up" only metaphorically, though, as it provides strictly white collar services - from computer support to property consultancy - rather than emptying dustbins or sweeping the streets.
It was the first company to help bill people for the poll tax and now chases tardy council tax payers. It provides computer support to more than 50 local education authorities, markets West Midlands bus passes, runs the DVLA's personalised number plate scheme in Swansea, and is moving into NHS trusts.
Last week its shares leapt to a record 297p, against 100p at flotation, leaving chairman Rodney Aldridge a millionaire seven times over.
Mr Aldridge paid the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy, the local government professionals body where he worked for 10 years, just pounds 330,000 for Capita in 1987.
The company's profits have grown from pounds 57,000 in 1985 to an expected pounds 12.5m when it announces results next month.
Capita hiccupped last September with revelations that Alan Kemp, an executive for three years, was also a long-time paid adviser to Michael Heseltine - Dr Kemp resigned from the group last July. Surprisingly, that is the only flak the company has ever attracted.
"We're a completely apolitical organisation," Mr Pindar said. He added that the group no longer employed political consultants.
Capita and its partner JHP will make profits of up to pounds 5.5m from the five-year driving exam deal, a net margin of between 7 and 8 per cent. However, it offered the lowest exam cost, of pounds 13 to pounds 15 per driver.
It is currently bidding to run the teachers' pension fund, worth up to pounds 15m a year, and is set to cash in as "outsourcing" gets a final pre-election push.
- 4 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 5 Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Who should I vote for in the general election? Take The Independent's interactive quiz to find out which party is the right choice for you
Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Mysterious 'X-Files' sounds heard miles above the Earth
Met Gala 2015: Jason Derulo falling over in epic fashion, the event's most talked about moment, wasn't what it seemed
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
iJobs Money & Business
£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...
£27 - 35k + Bonus + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Management Accountant is needed ...
£40-50k + Benefits.: Guru Careers: A Project Manager / Business Analyst is nee...