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Profit warning from Accident Exchange

Credit hire group Accident Exchange has warned the stock market that its half-year profits will be "significantly below management expectations".

In a statement this morning, the group said that after a strong first quarter, business conditions for the business were challenging, especially in August and September.

It said lower car crash volumes, blamed on consumers using their cars less because of high fuel prices, had meant claims activity in the second quarter was lower than expectations.

Difficult to predict

Although credit hire referrals have improved on entering the second half of the year, rentals are shorter as repairs are being completed more quickly, due to available capacity at accident repairers.

Accident Exchange said it was difficult to predict whether such capacity will continue, whether lower traffic volumes will persist, and to what extent this may affect its usually stronger trading period during the autumn and winter months.

Overall rental days for the first half were up by 11% to 570,000.

Its half-year financial results will be published on December 8.

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