•   
  •   

UK News Serco sees profit boosted by more demand for Test and Trace services

20:30  14 june  2021
20:30  14 june  2021 Source:   news.sky.com

British Airways bosses demand Britain eases 'overly cautious' rules

  British Airways bosses demand Britain eases 'overly cautious' rules They issued the plea at a joint virtual press conference held ahead of the meeting between Mr Johnson and Mr Biden in advance of the G7 summit in Cornwall. The US is currently on the UK's amber list, which means arriving travellers must self-isolate for 10 days. Not only that but they must have proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken no more than three days before their flight or face a £500 fine. Holidaymakers will also need proof they have booked and paid for two Covid tests to be taken on day two and day eight of quarantine once they arrive in the UK.

Outsourcing giant Serco has upgraded its profit guidance as it sees more demand than it previously expected from its contract to run some of the government's Test and Trace services.

logo: Serco's revenues for last year received a £350m boost from its role in Test and Trace © PA Serco's revenues for last year received a £350m boost from its role in Test and Trace

Shares rose 5% after the group said it now saw these services continuing for longer in the second half of the year than it had anticipated.

That, together with a strong performance in other parts of the business, has helped it bump up guidance for 2021 underlying profits by £15m to £200m.

Serco's revenues for last year received a £350m boost from its role in Test and Trace - and it was criticised by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer for paying an annual dividend.

Britain's Covid cases rise by 90% after 6,048 are recorded

  Britain's Covid cases rise by 90% after 6,048 are recorded Department of Health bosses posted another 6,048 positive tests today, compared to 3,165 last Tuesday. Another 13 deaths were also posted by Health chiefs.Infections surged from 3,165 last week continuing an upwards trend. The last time the UK recorded such a jump was on December 22, when cases had almost doubled to 36,000 from the same day the previous week.

But the company said at the time that the net impact of COVID-19 represented only about 1% of its underlying trading profit.

Chief executive Rupert Soames said in February that "the idea that COVID has been a huge boon to our profits is simply not true".

He also said that the much-criticised Test and Trace programme took "some time to settle down" but was "now working really, really well".

Last August, the chief executive had said the impact of pandemic on Serco's profits was a "big fat zero".

Mr Soames received a pay package for last year totalling £4.9m, slightly down on his 2019 remuneration of £5.2m, as the company's pre-tax profits rose by 89% to £153m and revenues climbed by 20%, or £636m, to £2.88bn.

The company's latest trading statement pointed to a positive impact of Test and Trace services on its financial performance for 2021.

'Unlimited guests allowed at weddings' even if Freedom Day delayed

  'Unlimited guests allowed at weddings' even if Freedom Day delayed Plans are being drawn up to relax certain curbs from later this month, regardless of the decision ministers will make on a complete unlocking of restrictions. This includes lifting the current 30-person limit on weddings and receptions, and allowing far greater crowds to attend ceremonies, bringing it in line with the Government's policy on funerals.Bar mitzvahs and christenings are also set to be boosted under the proposals, and while socially distanced tables would not be required, guests may be urged to be 'cautious' about contact with other households, according to the Times.

Serco said: "The strong performance we saw at the beginning of the year has continued.

"All of our four divisions have traded in-line or ahead of their budgets in the first five months of the year.

"In the UK in particular, volumes on both our Testing and Tracing contracts have continued to be strong and we now think it likely that demand for these services will continue for longer in the second half than we previously anticipated.

chart: Share's rose on the latest update © Other Share's rose on the latest update

"Accordingly, we are increasing our guidance for underlying trading profit in 2021 by £15m, to around £200m."

Serco, which earned 43% of its revenue in the UK last year, took a key role in the government Test and Trace programme as part of the battle against the virus.

It has operated more than a quarter of the testing sites and half the Tier 3 tracing capacity.

a close up of Rupert Soames wearing a blue shirt: Chief executive Rupert Soames has previously played down the impact of the pandemic on Serco's profits © Reuters Chief executive Rupert Soames has previously played down the impact of the pandemic on Serco's profits

More than 10,000 rock fans gather at Download at first pilot festival .
Thousands of music lovers flocked to Download at Donington Park, Derby, on Friday for the first restriction-free festival test event, with 40 bands performing over three days on two stages. While the event appears to be a positive step for the music industry, the numbers of people welcomed through the gates will be considerably reduced from the normal 100,000 fans by 90%.

usr: 0
This is interesting!