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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 July 2006, 06:58 GMT 07:58 UK
Capita's six month profits rise
Congestion charge sign on a London road
London's congestion charge is one of Capita's biggest businesses
UK outsourcing firm Capita has reported a 24% increase in first-half profits, topping market estimates.

The company, which operates London's vehicle congestion charge, said it had won new business and was optimistic about the outlook for growth next year.

Pre-tax profit was 92.4m in the six months to 30 June, up from 74.5m a year earlier. Sales increased to 845m.

Capita chairman Rod Aldridge stepped down in March after being caught up in a row over loans to the government.

Now a non-executive chairman, Mr Aldridge said that Capita had "made considerable progress in the first six months of the year".

"There is good visibility of Capita's financial performance for 2006 ... and the board therefore anticipates delivering strong growth in 2007," he added.

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