G4S profit up 6 pct despite Olympic debacle

LONDON, March 13 Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:12am EDT

LONDON, March 13 (Reuters) - Security group G4S posted a 6 percent rise in annual profit, as emerging markets growth helped soften the blow of an Olympics staffing blunder that rocked the British firm in 2012.

The world's No.1 security group on Wednesday said 2012 operating profit excluding the Olympics was 516 million pounds ($768.09 million), up 6 percent on 2011 and within analysts' forecast range of between 510 and 520 million pounds.

Underlying revenue rose 8.1 percent to 7.3 billion pounds, underpinned by a 10 percent rise in organic growth in emerging markets arm where Brazil performed strongly.

Last year G4S drew heavy public and political critiscm after it failed to provide 10,400 venue guards for the London Games, forcing British army troops to step in and fill the shortfall.

In February G4S agreed with organisers on a higher than expected 70 million pound loss on the contract, taken as an exceptional charge in its 2012 accounts.

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