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ArmorGroup wins $189 million contract to protect U.S. embassy in Kabul Print
Associated Press Worldstream - April 2, 2007
By ENDA CURRAN
 
ArmorGroup International PLC, a provider of security and defense services in Iraq and other trouble spots, has won a $189 million (euro141.4 million) contract to guard the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan the largest single contract the company has won to date.

Under the deal, McLean, Virginia-based subsidiary ArmorGroup North America will provide the embassy in Kabul with Gurkha soldiers, Afghan Guards and bomb-sniffing dogs, as well as providing catering and laundry facilities.
In a tender process, Armor beat the current holders of the contract, Global Security Inc., while American rivals Herndon, Virginia-based Triple Canopy and Falls Church, Va.-based DynCorp International Inc. are also thought to have applied.

In a tender process, Armor beat the current holders of the contract, Global Security Inc., while American rivals Herndon, Virginia-based Triple Canopy and Falls Church, Va.-based DynCorp International Inc. are also thought to have applied.

In a telephone interview, Chief Executive Officer Dave Seaton described the risk to the embassy as "constant," and said Armor beat competitors on cost grounds: "We would be marginally cheaper than the next best, it's a very price-competitive piece of business."
But Seaton also said the company is pursuing further tenders.

"The level of business in Afghanistan is certainly increasing, reconstruction monies are starting to be released so we are tendering for significant other contracts."

Armor recently renewed its contract to protect the British Embassy in Afghanistan.

The CEO said the contract win is evidence of a diversification of its business, beyond Iraq, which currently accounts for 49 percent of its total revenue.

Currently, Armor is the biggest provider of convoy protection in Iraq shielding 30 percent of all convoy movement in the war-torn country.

In March, the London-based group reported a pretax profit of $9.6 million (euro7.18 million) in the year ended Dec. 31, down from $12.1 million for the same period last year.

Roughly one third of Armor's direct revenue comes from Britain and U.S governments. The company operates across the globe, including in Afghanistan, Russia and Nigeria.

Enda Curran is a correspondent of Dow Jones Newswires.

 
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