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Capita notched up record contract wins for the seven months of 2006, the firm's chairman Rod Aldridge OBE noted today in the last set of results he will report to city before he steps down.

Aldridge announced his resignation in March following allegations that his donations to the Labour party had been rewarded with contracts for business with the government. He said at the time that the allegations were "spurious".

In his last chairman's statement today, Aldridge noted new contract wins with Birmingham, Rossendale and Westminster councils, the Northern Ireland Civil Service, the DTI and the BBC. Private sector wins included DSG Plc and Fujitsu.

Contract wins totalled £806m, of which £624m came from new contract wins, while the rest came from contract renewals.

Aldridge noted that despite the capital outlay required to get all this new business off the ground, Capita had still managed to post a 12.2 per cent increase in operating margins during the six months to 30 June 2006. Operating profit was up 27 per cent to £103.2m.

"This is a pleasing performance given the higher than usual level of implementation costs associated with the start up of a record number of new contracts," he said.

"The improving margin reflects the continued increase in economies of scale in the business," he added.

Turnover was up 23 per cent to £845m. Six per cent of this growth was attributable to acquisitions, of which Capita made seven in the six month period. Pre-tax profits were up 24 per cent to £92.4m. It plans further acquisitions in the second half. The firm also had a bid pipeline of £2.8bn in accounts where it had been shortlisted with four or fewer competitors.®

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