The full costs of G4S's "little security dilemma" come to light

Annual profits drop by a third.

People still talk about the Olympics. Oh, how it went off without a hitch against so many people’s expectations – apart from that little G4S security dilemma obviously.

But today, the full cost of that ‘little dilemma’, has now come to light: G4S has reported annual profits to have dropped by a third. That is on top of the £88 million already lost by failing to provide security at the Olympics, when the army was deployed in its stead.

When G4S announced that it would not be able to provide adequate security to the Olympics, it caused frenzy in the British media. Pressure was piled on G4S’s chief executive Nick Buckles to resign, the Government for answers and just about everyone involved in the Olympics for solutions. The word “shambles” was everywhere and even used by Buckles himself to describe G4S’s handing of the contract.

Yet, it seems the horror of that early summer frenzy did not obtain an audience outside the UK. G4S announced that sales from emerging markets account for one third of revenues, a figure that Buckles hopes will rise by 50 per cent by 2019.

Outsourcing, then, is as strong as ever and G4S remain the largest security outsourcers out there. They are the “privatizers” of this world, picking up government contracts for just about everything from providing maintanence for prisons in Israel to running airports on tiny Caribbean islands. It is hard to travel to any event, through any airport without seeing G4S blazoned upon the shirts of security personal.

However, although Buckles today insisted on “putting that behind us” when asked about the Olympics, there is one contract that they won’t be bidding for – Rio 2016.

Photograph: Getty Images

Oliver Williams is an analyst at WealthInsight and writes for VRL Financial News

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New Digital Editor: Serena Kutchinsky

The New Statesman appoints Serena Kutchinsky as Digital Editor.

Serena Kutchinsky is to join the New Statesman as digital editor in September. She will lead the expansion of the New Statesman across a variety of digital platforms.

Serena has over a decade of experience working in digital media and is currently the digital editor of Newsweek Europe. Since she joined the title, traffic to the website has increased by almost 250 per cent. Previously, Serena was the digital editor of Prospect magazine and also the assistant digital editor of the Sunday Times - part of the team which launched the Sunday Times website and tablet editions.

Jason Cowley, New Statesman editor, said: “Serena joins us at a great time for the New Statesman, and, building on the excellent work of recent years, she has just the skills and experience we need to help lead the next stage of our expansion as a print-digital hybrid.”

Serena Kutchinsky said: “I am delighted to be joining the New Statesman team and to have the opportunity to drive forward its digital strategy. The website is already established as the home of free-thinking journalism online in the UK and I look forward to leading our expansion and growing the global readership of this historic title.

In June, the New Statesman website recorded record traffic figures when more than four million unique users read more than 27 million pages. The circulation of the weekly magazine is growing steadily and now stands at 33,400, the highest it has been since the early 1980s.