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Profits up at Accident Exchange

Sales have rocketed by 147% in the past year at Accident Exchange, the credit hire and motor claims service provider, which works with many of the UK’s prestige franchised dealers.

Turnover for its 2006 financial year increased to £53.5m against £21.7m in 2005, and operating profits climbed to £17.2m from £7.7m. However, the operating margin slipped from 38.7% to 34%, which the AIM-listed company says reflects an increased proportion of lower margin mainstream credit hire revenue.

Accident Exchange provides white-label accident management services to its premium and prestige dealership clients, currently numbering 550 dealers. These include leading AM100 groups such as European Motor Holdings, HR Owen and Rydale. Its credit hire fleet of more than 2,700 vehicles includes brands such as Audi, BMW, Jaguar and Land Rover.

Chief executive Steve Evans says dealers should realize the opportunities offered by retaining control of a customer’s experience following a crash. Doing so ensures customers continue to receive the standard of service appropriate for their prestige brands, and reinforces their relationships with the dealer.

“Not only does it mean that the dealer stays in control of the repair, but half of the people involved in an accident replace their car within six months, so this keeps them in contact and brings them back into the dealership,” says Evans.

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