Shares in Serco were up on the FTSE 100 in afternoon trading after the service company reported a rise in revenue and pre-tax profit in the year ended 31 December 2010.

Revenue in the period increased nine per cent to £4.3 billion, while pre-tax profit rose 20.8 per cent to £213.9 million.

The group total dividend will be raised 17.6 per cent to 7.35 pence per share.

During the year long period Serco signed £4.2 billion worth of contracts and was appointed preferred bidder for £1.4 billion worth of contracts. The group also said that around 40 per cent of its revenue had been generated outside of Great Britain.

At the end of 2010 the group's order book stood at £16.6 billion, down from £17.1 billion at the end of the previous year.

Christopher Hyman, Chief Executive of Serco, commented, "Our colleagues across the world deliver essential services and their achievements have led to a strong financial performance in very challenging times. We expect Serco's position in new, diverse and expanding international markets to deliver ongoing benefits. Our agility and capacity to innovate underpins our confidence in continued growth across all our regions."

By 14:40 shares in Serco were up 2.80 per cent on the FTSE 100 to 569.50 pence per share.