September 4, 2014 / 7:56 AM / 4 years ago

Serco named preferred bidder for Australian immigration contract

LONDON, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Serco said on Thursday it had been selected as preferred bidder to continue running Australia’s onshore immigration detention services, some rare good news for the British outsourcer after a disastrous year.

The firm, which is in the middle of an overhaul after contract problems, a government ban and falling margins led to a string of profit downgrades, said a new contract would be signed pending commercial negotiations.

The immigration contract, Serco’s largest, was signed in 2009 but is up for renewal and is seen by analysts as a key deal for the firm to retain.

A commitment by Australia’s government to stem the flow of asylum seekers had led Serco to warn that the volume-related work could decline sharply in 2014. (Reporting by Neil Maidment; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

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