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Prudential to post respectable profit as Soames exposes Serco challenges

Retiring baby boomers in the United States and the growing Asian middle class will boost Prudential's half-year profits on Tuesday, despite the strong pound.

The group, led by chief executive Tidjane Thiam, will post operating profits up six per cent to £1.5 billion on the back of robust foreign earnings.

Brokers at Barclays call this growth "respectable".

Meanwhile Rupert Soames will highlight the scale of the challenge facing him as Serco boss when the outsourcing firm unveils half-year results on Tuesday.

The former Aggreko chief executive joined the firm after a scandal-hit 2013 in which it was forced to refund the Government £68.5 million for overcharging on criminal tagging contracts and repay £2 million of past profits from contract to escort prisoners.

Brokers at Liberum expect the company to post a "very weak" pre-tax profit of £33.8 million, 73 per cent less than a year ago.

The company, which employs 100,000 staff, is now clear to resume bidding for public sector contracts but has admitted trading conditions are challenging.

Bookmaker Ladbrokes will be under pressure to show it has had a good and profitable World Cup when it reports its half-year results on Tuesday.

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