The outsourcing group, which has its head office in Hook, Hampshire, saw revenue grow 24 per cent to £1.82 billion with its underlying trading profit increasing by 53 per cent to £77.6 million.
Revenue was given a nine per cent boost by the purchase of the naval systems business unit of Alion in North America
Order intake was strong at £1.9bn – 60 per cent from existing contracts being rebid or extended and 40 per cent new work.
The group plans to pay taxes deferred by the Government by the end of the year and is not planning to apply for re-employment incentives.
Chief executive Rupert Soames said: "Operationally, the first half has been dominated by the rapid adjustments which have had to be made in the way we deliver our services as a consequence of Covid-19. The response of colleagues has been exemplary and they have worked throughout with the same courage, dedication and commitment as their public-sector co-workers on the front line in prisons, hospitals, trains, ferries, defence establishments and immigration facilities.
"As a result of the significant investments we have made in recent years, our management teams, business processes and systems have shown themselves to be capable of responding at great speed and effectiveness to governments' needs. We commissioned the UK's first drive-through test centre in two days; in Australia accommodation was provided for more than 1,300 quarantined travellers on one week's notice and as part of the NHS Test and Trace programme we mobilised 10,500 contact tracers in a four-week period.
"Worldwide, we have mustered over 15,000 full and part-time people to help governments respond to the crisis. We think that these and other examples will reinforce in our customers' minds the value Serco can bring and the need more generally of governments to have vibrant, resilient and secure supply chains that can support public services in good times and bad."