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Security giant faces huge losses on Olympics contract

Olympics security firm G4S has said that it expects to make huge losses after failing to recruit enough guards for the London games. The British government has now called on the army to help.

1170723 Great Britain, London. 07/01/2012 The emblem of the 2012 London Summer Olympics fixed on Tower Bridge. The installation's total width, 25 m; height, over 11 m. Alexey Filippov/RIA Novosti

Olympia London 2012 Tower Bridge Olympiaflagge Ringe Symbolbild

The world's largest private security firm said it would not be able to fully fulfill its contract to supply guards to the games and was set to make losses of up to 50 million pounds (64 million euros, $77 million).

G4S said in a statement on Friday that it would not be able to meet its obligations because it would be "unable to deliver all of the necessary workforce numbers."

On Thursday, the government put 3,500 troops on standby after it became aware that there would be a shortfall. British Prime Minister David Cameron warned on Friday that G4S would face consequences.

"G4S accepts its responsibility for the additional cost of the increased military deployment resulting from the shortfall in workforce delivery," the company said in a statement.

The firm said it was "also incurring other significant costs as it endeavors to meet the contract challenges."

G4S had been expected to provide 10,400 guards for games facilities as part of its contract, worth an estimated 284 million pounds. The firm is also responsible for managing 3,300 students and 3,000 volunteers.

A call-up of the extra troops would raise the number at the Olympics to 17,000 - well above the 9,500 currently deployed in Afghanistan. The games begin on July 27.

rc/mr (Reuters, AFP)