Debt advice group Compass Finance - which makes 7.6 per cent of its business in the Birmingham area - has expressed confidence in its long-term future and forecast further improvement in its consumer loans operation.
The group said it had returned to the black in the first half of 2006 reporting a profit before tax, goodwill amortisation and charges in respect of share options of £300,000 for the six months to March 31.
However at the pretax level losses widened to £1.76 million from £181,000 a year before. Turnover rose to £8.03 million.
Chairman Grenville Folwell said: "Turnover grew during the period by 14 per cent and the overall result was therefore a favourable improvement on the comparable period in 2005."
In May, Compass announced its acquisition o f The Debt Advisor, funded by a share placement worth £4.15 million net of expenses.
The placement will also provide working capital for the new unit, Compass said. It expects the investment in its newly created Debt Advisory division to be "earnings dilutive" in the second half of this financial year but forecasts that the division will be earnings enhancing by the second half of the year to September 30, 2007.
Meanwhile, the UK debt consolidation and debt services market continued to grow, fuelled by record levels of consumer debt, the company noted.
It said its customer acquisition tactics continued to progress with the rebranding of the group and the relaunch of its website in March.
It said it expected continued improvement within the consumer loans division in the second half.
Mr Folwell said: "With the seasonal affects of December and January behind us we anticipate further improvements in the operating performance of the consumer loans d ivision against that achieved in 2005."
Shares closed up 1p at 46.5p