G4S PLC (LON:GFS), the controversial security group that has received a hostile takeover bid and a potential rival approach in recent weeks, reported revenues were down 2% in the first nine months of the year.

This was worse than the 1% decline seen in the first half of the year but it said this was “more than offset” by cost control and reduced interest costs after its refinancing and improving net debt position.

G4S, which sold its cash transport business earlier this year to focus on its Secure Solutions arm, said it has retained and won new contracts with an annual revenue contract value of £2bn so far in 2020, including a recent prison contract.

READ: G4S confirms bid approach from Allied Universal Security Services

In the fourth quarter so far, it said its smaller Retail Cash Solutions arm has begun to roll out a “significant” software-and-service contract with a big US retailer, “one of the largest big-box retailers in the world”.

Chief executive Ashley Almanza said: “G4S today is a focused global business delivering integrated security solutions which combine our risk consulting, security, technology and data analytics capabilities.

“The benefits of our strategy, strong execution and rapid response to Covid-19 continue to be reflected in the group’s results during 2020 with resilient revenue, earnings and cash flow.”

Hostile suitor GardaWorld put out a statement later, saying the “announcement conceals more than it reveals compared to previous updates.

“Revenues are sagging, there is no mention of profit or cashflow and the business performance is obscure, a spokesperson for the private equity owned Canadian security company said.

“G4S congratulates itself for ‘retaining new contracts’ but makes no mention of the quantum of contract losses. If these numbers demonstrate the resilience of the business, as the board says, why is the dividend not resumed at any level?”

Shares in G4S were mostly moving sideways on Wednesday, at 209.8p not long after noon.

  –Adds shares and comment–