Belfast Telegraph

Capita renews deal with BBC NI despite £513m annual loss

By Margaret Canning

UK outsourcing giant Capita has renewed a £35m deal with the BBC in Northern Ireland to provide call centre services, it has emerged.

Capita, which employs around 1,500 people in Northern Ireland, recently agreed a contract with the PSNI.

It also has a five-year deal with the Education Authority, which it renewed last year.

Earlier this week Capita reported a £513m annual loss, as it set out plans to revive its indebted business.

A spokesman for the BBC in London said: "Capita has a new contract to provide the BBC's audience services for the next five years - they've already held the contract for 19 years.

"Calls are answered at our contacts centre in Belfast which takes them from viewers and listeners from across the UK. The contract value is £30-35m over seven years."

In the House of Commons yesterday, Minister Oliver Dowden insisted that Capita had not been awarded any central Government contracts since it had issued a profit warning earlier this year.

He insisted that Capita was in a different financial position from that of collapsed outsourcing giant Carillion.

Answering an urgent question on Capita from former business secretary Sir Vince Cable, Mr Dowden said: "He asked about whether new contracts had been awarded.

"I can tell him that, since the statement in February, no new contracts have been announced by central Government.

"However, I do understand that the BBC and Northern Ireland authorities have announced a contract."

In February, Capita Communications and Control Solutions announced it had won a contract to deliver its command and control system to the PSNI after a competitive tender process.

On Monday, the company said profits were wiped out by £850m of one-off costs, mainly from writing down the value of acquisitions made under its previous management.

The company said it would raise £701m through a rights issue to fund a reorganisation of the business.

Belfast Telegraph

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