Capita Group has posted pre-tax profits of £29.1m for the six months ending June 30, up 58% on the same period last year, with turnover increasing by 55%, from £208m to £323m.

The group said it had set its sights on £1bn worth of new contracts after winning business from Abbey National, the Department of Education and Skills and Croydon Council.

Analysts lifted their profit forecast of the group in response to the announcement. HSBC upped its earnings forecast for 2002 from £84m to £86m and its 2003 forecast from £100m to £102m.

The insurance services outsourcing division, Capita Insurance Services, encompasses former Eastgate businesses McLarens Toplis and Consumer Direct, and generated revenues of £160m. The firm recently won a five-year contract with Affinitas, which looks after insurance for the armed forces, to provide a member service centre.

Capita Assistance, the medical and legal helpline service, saw a 12% increase in volumes for all personal lines business.

Executive chairman of the Capita Group, Rod Aldridge, said: “We have secured a record value of contracts over the past 18 months, which means our targeted revenues for 2001 and 2002 are now substantially underpinned.”