Olympics blunder costs G4S £50m

Security firm G4S has admitted that staffing issues during the London 2012 Olympic Games have cost the firm dear.

by Rebecca Burn-Callander
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013

Just a few weeks before the London 2012 opening ceremony, G4S found itself short-staffed, out of time, and in breach of its £284m contract. G4S boss Nick Buckles was forced to admit that it had failed to recruit and train enough staff to guard the Olympics and government had to draft in 18,000 troops from the military to make up the shortfall. G4S, of course, footed the bill.

At a meeting with MPs last month, Buckles called the whole situation a 'humiliating shambles'. And although G4S did eventually cover around 83% of its contracted shifts, Buckles has today revealed that the total cost of the debacle has hit £50m.

G4S revealed the figure alongside its interim results and the damage is clear. Half-year pre-tax profits have fallen from £151m to £61m - a drop of 59%.

Chief executive Nick Buckles has had no choice but to keep eating humble pie over the debacle. 'We are deeply disappointed that we had significant issues with the London 2012 Olympics contract,' he says, 'and are very grateful to the military and the police for their support in helping us to deliver a safe and secure games.'

Buckles also revealed that G4S will not be bidding for the Rio 2016 Olympics security contact. 'The profit upside is not as great as the reputational downside if things go wrong,' he explains.

Looks like a chronic case of insecurity has gripped the security boss...

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