SUPPORT services giant Carillion is eyeing a record pot of potential contracts after downsizing its construction arm and targeting more major UK outsourcing projects.
The Wolverhampton-based firm, which took over Newcastle-based plc eaga for £300m last year, said it had £35.6bn worth of contracts to play for, after picking up £2.2bn of business in the first half of 2012.
It posted a 1% rise in underlying pre-tax profit for the six months to June 30 was £73.1m, as a stronger operating margin at its downsized UK construction arm helped offset a 12% fall in group revenues to £2.2bn also hit by project delays in the Middle East.
The company said there was still a strong demand despite a “challenging” market and criticism of outsourcing which was inflamed by G4S problems running the security contract at the Olympics in London.
“The political sentiment towards outsourcing might be a little strained at the moment,” said chief executive Richard Howson.
“But within local authorities and our public sector customers, the Ministry of Defence, Department of Health, there is strong support for the advantages that private sector companies can bring to public sector services.”
It said that Carillion Energy Services (CES), which was formed from eaga, had won two contracts for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive which were worth £60m over four years. And it had also worked up £20m of sales of energy-efficient heating system Ecopod, which it launched this year and had extended its work rolling out BT’s Openreach superfast broadband.