G4S took an £88m hit for its London 2012 Olympic Games security blunder (Reuters)

G4S hinted at a round of job cuts, as the firm announced it will slash costs and focus on emerging markets, in a bid to turn around the blundering security company's fortunes.

Ashley Almanza, the G4S chief executive who took over in May after Nick Buckles' shock exit, outlined his new strategy at the multi-billion pound business's annual shareholder meeting.

UK-based G4S has been rocked by a number of setbacks in recent years, including an ominous profit warning, a costly mishandling of its Olympics security staffing contract, and a botched takeover attempt of cleaning contractor ISS.

"Let me reassure you that while the short term outlook is challenging the underlying business and the medium and long term outlook remain very strong indeed," said Almanza.

"We are putting in place a number of business improvement plans to strengthen margins in 2014 and 2015."

No specific details were given on where the cost cutting would fall. Almanza said G4S would take months to find all of the costs that could be saved and how much this would amount to in total.

In the first quarter, G4S operating profit margin slipped 0.6% on the same period a year before. It blamed ongoing economic woes in its European market and pricing pressures in the UK in the unscheduled warning ahead of its full year results.

Around £600m (€706m, $934m) was knocked off its market value, after it sounded the siren, but the firm's annual results for 2013 reported profit rising 6% to £516m.

G4S also took an £88m hit from its London 2012 Olympics staffing gaffe, when it was forced to admit it had not been able to find and train enough security personnel to meet its contract with the games' organisers. The military and police force had to plug the security gap.

"One of my principal objectives is to try and put the Olympics and some of the setbacks behind us," Almanza told shareholders.

"There is no question that our reputation has suffered on the back of the Olympics particularly."

In November 2011, G4S dropped a £5.2bn bid to take over ISS amid shareholder concern over the size of the deal given the wider economic turmoil.

The G4S meeting was twice disrupted by pro-Palestinian protesters calling for an end to the firm's work in Israel, particularly the prison system.