Fleet News

Helphire on the acquisition trail

BOOMING credit hire and accident management firm Helphire is on the hunt for acquisitions after announcing record results. The announcement comes as rivals launch on the stock market to raise funds in a bid to mirror its success.

Turnover at Helphire Group for the six months to September 30 rocketed by 47% to £29.2 million from £19.8 million for the same period last year, while pre-tax profits were up 30% to £2.06 million (1998: £1.58 million). Revenue for its subsidiary Angel Assistance, which provides legal expenses cover, grew 243% to £2.25 million (1998: £0.67 million.). Shares have soared from about £1 since launch to more than £3 since its flotation in 1997, but this hides a three for one share offer in July which brought the price down from £12, where it was felt to be 'psychologically too high'.

It will continue its current round of acquisitions next year, paid for by an increase in its debt facility and £35 million in extra funding. Helphire's success has spurred a number of rivals to go to the stock market looking for investment to fund expansion, including Alpha Accident Management, which has raised £3.8 million by floating on the Alternative Investment Market.

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