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Garda CEO Stéphan Crétier (right) stands with a security officer next to a company truck in this file photo. (Ivanoh Demers/CP)
Garda CEO Stéphan Crétier (right) stands with a security officer next to a company truck in this file photo. (Ivanoh Demers/CP)

Growth costs hit Garda's profit Add to ...

Garda World Security Corp. says its 2012 annual and fourth-quarter revenue were up but its profit fell due to costs associated with its growth initiatives.

The Montreal-based company provides cash logistics services such as armoured car deliveries as well as security guard services and airport passenger screening.

Garda says its revenue for the financial year ended Jan. 31 was $1.2-billion, up 9.3 per cent from $1.1-billion in fiscal 2011. That included $329.3-million in the fourth quarter, up 15 per cent from $285.7-million a year earlier.

“The second half of fiscal 2012 was nothing short of spectacular,” said Garda chief financial officer Stephan Cretier.

“We've expanded our existing business while winning significant new business and smoothly integrated it into our operations. We also developed new areas where our previous footprint was limited which gives the company new capabilities for future growth.”

Garda's profit dropped, however, in both the quarter and the year.

For the fourth quarter, net income was $7-million or 22 cents per share, down from $10.7-million or 33 cents per diluted share a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, Garda World's annual profit was $23-million or 72 cents per share for all of 2012.

Net Income fell to $21.6-million or 68 cents per share for fiscal 2012 — down from $28.6-million or 90 cents per share in fiscal 2011.

Garda said the profit was affected by an increase in depreciation and finance costs associated with its growth investments.

One of Garda's new sources of revenue comes from a contract to manage passenger screening activities at Toronto's Pearson International Airport, the country's largest airline hub.

The transition has been controversial because of changes to the way screeners are scheduled. At least 68 screeners were laid off, although their union said 299 workers had received pink slips. The company countered that about 200 of the screeners would continue to be employed but at reduced hours.

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