The outsourcing giant said extensions to government contracts had boosted revenues in the three months to July. Its revenue for the year is expected to be around £3.9bn
- up from a predicted £3.7bn. It expects a trading profit, before any one-off costs, of between £160m
, compared with estimates of £135m to £150m. The company said in a statement that the excess profits could be returned to shareholders in the form of dividends.
The [private sector] test-and-trace system has been criticised for being less effective than local public health teams. Data released on Thursday showed that, in the week to 7 October, NHS Test and Trace reached only 62.6%
of people who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus. This figure has been falling as the number of cases increases. Local public health teams, who conduct contract tracing for the most complex cases, reached 97.7%
of identified contacts in the same period.
Labour's Rachel Reeves said: "While Serco is raking in the profits, people are paying the price for its failure."
The assistant general secretary of Unison, the UK's biggest union, Christina McAnea, said involving private companies "was a mistake from the start". "Shareholders shouldn't be rubbing their hands with glee when the test-and-trace system is a catastrophe. Infections are rising, hospital admissions are soaring, and test-and-trace has just had its worst week ever. No one should be profiting from failure," she added.