G4S posts pre-tax profit

<p>Security firm G4S has announced a return to profit.</p>

Security firm G4S has announced a return to profit following a series of high-profile international contract wins.

The company posted a pre-tax profit of £148 million for 2014, compared to the loss of £190 million made a year ago. This positive performance has been driven by its business abroad where it saw revenue generated from emerging markets, which account for around a third of its operations, soar by 7.7 per cent in 2014, in contrast to previous years.

However, the company was still lagging behind when it came to performance in the UK and Ireland where it continues to struggle. G4S noted that its revenue on home soil was 1.3 per cent lower than in previous the year. It alludes to problems that the company has faced when it has come to securing contracts in the UK.

Commenting on the latest trading update, Ashley Almanza, G4S chief executive, said: "There remains much to be done to realise the full potential of our strategy and we expect to make further progress in 2015."

Past troubles

G4S has endured a difficult past few years trading in the UK and Ireland. In March 2014, it announced an agreement to pay the UK government £108.9 million plus tax after overcharging for contracts for electronic tagging of offenders. This came following a lengthy inquiry by the Ministry of Justice which involved both G4S and Serco.

Both companies were found to have overcharged the government and were even including prisoners that had either left prison or died. Due to the major financial implications, G4S had set aside around £386 million to cover the restructuring costs and admitted that 2013/14 had been an "extremely challenging year".

On top of the fine, G4S was subject to a ban which prevented it from bidding for any new contracts until it was eventually lifted in April 2014.

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