Accident Exchange Group, the prestige vehicle replacement specialist, has announced plans to take on nearly 200 extra staff in the next 12 months,
The recruitment drive, which will see the Warwickshire company double its workforce to 330 employees, comes in the wake of a five-fold increase in profits.
It caps a year of astonishing growth for the company, which last year employed just 62 staff at its Coleshill base.
Turnover in the year to April 30 increased by 429 per cent to £21.7 million, while pre tax profit leapt 509 per cent to £6.7 million. This performance was driven by an average fleet utilisation of 87.2 per cent, up from 78.4 per cent in 2004, and a four fold increase in the car fleet to 1029 vehicles.
Accident Exchange, which provides car hire on credit to motorists involved in accidents where they are not at fault, said it planned to fund its rapid expansion through a placement of shares.
It has targeted the prestige vehicle end of the market and operates a fleet of Jaguars, Land Rovers, Audis, Mercedes and BMWs, but was now also looking at the volume end of the market.
Chief Executive Steve Evans said: "We have grown from 62 people at the beginning of last year to 164, and we will be at about 330 people by the end of the next financial year.
"We have seen massive demand and opportunities for growth, we seem to have got the niche right."
The company plans to take on 100 extra staff within the next six months as drivers, transport managers, in the internal claims centre, and some field-based staff developing relationships with dealers.
Accident Exchange has already taken on staff made redundant by the closure of MG Rover.
Mr Evans said: "We have taken on half a dozen people from MG Rover to work as drivers. They are local and mature and have experience.
"Maturity is something we go for, and many of them are in their 40s and 50s who could have been on the scrap heap.
"We want people with experience because they are the only people the customer ever sees, and every time they deliver one of our cars they have to put out a good impression of the business."
Accident Exchange has also announced an underwritten conditional placing of 3,478,261 new ordinary shares at £2.30 to raise £7.7 million.
The money will be ploughed into further growth, with the firm setting up new depots in Manchester and central London to add to one established this year in Glasgow.
Mr Evans said the placing would also add some liquidity to the company and attract institutional backers to the firm which entered AIM last year.
He added: "The aim is to have some more working capital so we can carry on our expansion."
The placing would also be used to expand and renew its fleet of cars, with around 800 new vehicles likely to be bought.
The new centres will enable Accident Exchange to enter the volume market, Mr Evans added.
He said: "Our area has previously been in providing prestige cars, but now we are going to go into the volume sector the margins are lower so we have to be nearer to our customers." He added that his firm's emphasis on customer service boded well for plans to increase its market share from the present six per cent.
"We have got the market right, and the best team in the sector offering a staggering service.
"We are in quite a competitive market, but we have retained the customer focus and intimacy and are not just a call centre operation.
"When someone is in an accident, they want assistance in minutes and a response in hours. In the industry it is a case of hours and service in a day, which is not enough.
"We try that bit harder."