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G4S sees revenues slip as it goes up against tough year-ago comparatives

The FTSE 100-security services provider said in a trading update that year-to-date new contract sales were £500mln
G4S vehicle
G4S added that its Middle East business had stabilised since last year

G4S PLC (LON:GFS) reported a 2% fall in revenues for the first quarter of 2018 as expected, as it battled to do better than a year earlier when mobilisation of a large retail solution contract with Walmart in the first quarter boosted revenues.

The FTSE 100-security services provider said in a trading update that year-to-date new contract sales were £500mln, while adding that its North American retail cash management business had continued to build a strong pipeline in sales and had made significant progress with pilot programmes at major retailers, providing confidence for growth prospects.

READ: G4S shares fall as 2017 revenue and earnings miss analysts' expectations

Meanwhile, Secure Solutions, the group’s security business, saw revenue growth for the first quarter offset partially by the year-on-year effect of a slowdown in the Middle East and India in the second half of 2017, although G4S said the Middle East business had since stabilised and growth was being achieved in the Indian market.

The stabilisation of the Middle East and India may come as a relief to some analysts after the firm’s earnings for 2017 came in below market expectations. 

G4S chief executive, Ashley Almanza, said: "The group continued to make progress with its plans to deliver revenue growth and improved productivity. We expect growth to accelerate in the second half of 2018 as the strong first-half comparatives from Retail Cash Solutions roll off, our new contracts mobilise and our productivity programmes deliver benefits to the bottom line."

In late morning trading Wednesday, G4S shares were down 1.5% at 256.9p.

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