Fleet News

Helphire clinches three-month AA deal as group's debts fall

VEHICLE hire and accident management group Helphire has clinched a three-month trial of its products with AA Insurance Services, which will reach a potential customer base of one million drivers.

The trial is the latest stage in Helphire's recovery after a long-running battle with insurers over payments for its credit hire services.

Earlier this year, Helphire revealed the price of peace in the battle over credit hire bills after giving up a claim to tens of millions of pounds worth of debts owed by insurers.

As a result, the company plunged into a £48.1 million pre-tax loss for the six months to September 30, 2000, compared to £2.06 million profit for the same period in 1999.

In a statement to the firm's annual general meeting, chairman Martin Kinney said the group's debt had fallen to £4.4 million, with £9.4 million in historic debt being collected in the past three months.

He added: 'After considerable upheavals over the past 12 months, our strategy of repositioning the group as a major supplier of services to motorists in co-operation with the insurance industry is making good progress.'

Michael Symons and Mark Jackson, co-founders of the group in 1992 who were chief executive and deputy chief executive, have also changed their roles. Symons will become executive deputy chairman, focusing on product development, while Mark Jackson takes over as chief executive.

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