Midland-based Accident Exchange, which provides accident management services to automotive and insurance companies, reported first-quarter trading in line with expectations.
For the quarter to July 31, the Coleshill vehicle replacement company said rental days increased to 307,000 compared with 251,000 for the same period last year and were little changed from 311,000 in the seasonally strong preceding quarter.
In a pre-AGM statement, the company said utilisation for the quarter improved to 65 per cent from 61 per cent in the comparative period last year and 64 per cent in the previous quarter.
The proportion of prestige vehicle revenue also recovered to 82 per cent from 81 per cent last year. “Margins have benefited from these operational improvements and also from the effect of improved hire rates with effect from June 1, 2008 as a result of the agreed 3.5 per cent increase in rental day rates under the ABI General Terms of Agreement,” added the statement.
Working capital headroom at July 31 was strong at £28.9 million with an incremental £0.6 million vehicle disposal proceeds due at the quarter end, the company said.
“The board continues to expect further improvement in cash collection rates and is seeing the benefits of the litigation strategy which was initiated in January 2008,” said the statement. Collections carried out internally were £33 million in the first quarter compared to £26.8 million in the comparative period last year and £33.2 million recorded in the preceding quarter.
“Cash collected from our litigation panel was £6.6 million in the first quarter compared to £1.4 million in the comparative period last year and £4.8 million recorded in the preceding quarter,” it added.