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Accident Exchange swings into the red

Credit hire and claims management group Accident Exchange has scrapped its interim dividend as it swung to a loss in the six months to November 1.

Losses came to £11.1m in the half-year compared with a profit of £4.5m last time. Revenue was up 11% to £86m. Last year, the group paid an interim dividend of 1p.

“This has been a challenging period and has clearly been affected by the economic environment in general and the automotive market in particular,” said chairman David Galloway.

“As a result of current market conditions we are focusing intently on reducing costs, on further improving cash collection and on protecting revenue whilst maintaining acceptable margins.

"We are committed to taking the action necessary to ensure that we reduce our cost base, restrict capital outflow and apply an unremitting determination to reduce debt and improve cash flow,” he added.

Accident Exchange warned in November that profitability would be significantly below management expectations due to the slowdown in referrals and shorter rental periods experienced in the second quarter.

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