ArmorGroup boosted by Afghanistan tension

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The greater commitment of Britain and the international community to Afghanistan has been lucrative for the bodyguard provider ArmorGroup, which has seen its Afghan revenues jump almost threefold.

The company is providing protection against a resurgent Taliban threat to British personnel in the country, including embassy staff and workers from the Department for International Development. It is also guarding World Bank staff and members of a US company awarded a reconstruction contract.

The company now has 600 protection officers in Afghanistan, making it ArmorGroup's second-biggest operation after the 1,500 engaged in Iraq. Revenues in Afghanistan were up 267 per cent to $15.7m (£8.7m), for the first half of the year.

Reporting interim results, the company said it hoped to be given mine-clearing contracts in Lebanon. Deals for clearance, including UN projects, should be awarded soon, ArmorGroup's chief executive, David Seaton, said.

The group's revenues were up 30 per cent at $134.4m, but pre-tax profits slipped $1m to $3.7m.