British outsourcing firm Capita posted a 6 percent rise in year profit, underpinned by growth through acquisitions, and said a buoyant sales environment left it confident of good prospects in 2012.

Capita, whose operations include customer services for the Criminal Records Bureau and managing over 23 million life, savings and pension policies, said on Thursday underlying pretax profit for 2011 was 385.2 million pounds.

That compared to a company supplied analyst consensus of 383.8 million pounds.

Overall revenue rose 7 percent to 2.93 billion pounds, but included a 7 percent decline in organic revenue generated from contracts.

Capita turned to acquisitions in 2011, spending 341 million pounds on 21 firms in order to expand its offerings and acquire work as budget cuts, contract delays and increasing competition hampered its ability to convert a bulging bid pipeline into new work.

The firm, which this month beat Serco to a 500 million pound deal to provide recruitment services to the British Army, said acquisition activity would reduce in 2012 and that an improved sales environment, together with a bid pipeline of 4.6 billion pounds, would help drive revenue growth.

Shares in the FTSE 100-listed firm, which employs around 45,000 people, closed at 688.5 pence on Wednesday, valuing the business at almost 4 billion pounds.

(Reporting by Neil Maidment; editing by James Davey)