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Accident Exchange ‘not replacing Gupta’

Credit hire company Accident Exchange said it does not expect to replace chief operating officer Daksh Gupta, who resigned last month after less than a year with the business.

Instead, founder and chief executive Steve Evans plans to devote more time to operational and cash management aspects of the business.

Gupta joined the company in January, having moved from Inchcape, where he was director of its Mercedes-Benz franchise.

In its pre-close statement, the company said the first six months trading this financial year were “broadly in line with expectations”. Rental days have increased to 510,000 from 290,000 in the same period in 2006, and it has secured a contract with a second insurer to provide prestige credit hire services to its customers.

However, Accident Exchange is having to focus on cash collection, with a panel of solicitors pursuing claims for around a quarter of its credit hire settlements. Recent legal judgements in two test cases have encouraged insurers to settle more actions out of court. However, the company said it is too early to forecast the rate of settlement.

“Until the cash generated from settlements involving these claims improves more materially, the board continues to consider the appropriateness of the group’s financial structure,” said Accident Exchange.

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