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UK's Mitie hikes profit outlook as COVID contracts rise amid Omicron wave

By Reuters

-Mitie Group on Thursday raised its annual profit outlook for the second time in four months, as the outsourcer that helps manage some of Britain’s COVID-19 testing sites gains from a higher number of pandemic-related contracts during the Omicron wave.

Mitie, which provides security and cleaning services in virus quarantine hotels, has benefitted from the pandemic as Britain outsourced some of the COVID-19-related work to private companies. However, those benefits had been expected to taper off in the second half of its financial year ending March.

The group said on Thursday that revenue from COVID-19-related contracts was greater than expected at 109 million pounds ($146.32 million) in the December quarter, and that it expected to keep gaining from such work in the final quarter of the fiscal year.

Its business services division, which keeps some of Britain’s biggest companies and iconic buildings running, was boosted by its security services at bridging hotels for Afghan refugees and rising demand for hygiene services as offices reopen.

The company, which reported a 51% jump in its third-quarter revenue, forecast operating profit before other items of 160 million to 165 million pounds for the full year, up from a September estimate of 145-155 million pounds.

The British company has also gained from acquisitions, including its purchase of rival Interserve’s facilities management business in 2020.

($1 = 0.7449 pounds)