G4S profits dive as it pays for Games fiasco


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The Independent Online

G4S saw its pre-tax profits dive by a third to £175m last year after the security giant swallowed £88m in costs for its high-profile failures over the London Olympics contract.

But stripping out the cost of failing to recruit enough guards for the Games, which saw British soldiers recalled from leave to help, the world's biggest security group saw operating profit last year grow 6 per cent to £516m.

Politicians such as Paul Deighton, the chief executive of the Games organising committee Locog who is now Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, have condemned G4S, saying: "We shouldn't over-complicate this. They just failed to deliver."

But its chief executive Nick Buckles said yesterday: "The Olympics settlements have now been agreed – hopefully we can put that behind us. A pop-up company with thousands of employees that lasts three months is very difficult to build. We won't be doing anything of that nature again."

Two G4S directors resigned over the fiasco but Mr Buckles kept his post, although this year he will not receive a bonus to top up his £830,000 base salary. Mr Buckles admitted he was surprised to still be at the helm.

G4S won £200m in new UK Government contracts last year, but analysts fear it will struggle to win more.