RNS Number:2565T
Helphire Group PLC
20 March 2007








Date          March 20th 2007

Contacts      Mark B Jackson                          Tel: 01225 321 205
              David E Lindsay                              01225 321 298
              Helphire Group plc

              Chris Steele                            Tel: 07979 604 687
                                                           020 7034 4759
              Adventis Financial PR



                               Helphire Group plc

           Interim results for the six months ending 31 December 2006



Highlights

Highlights and commentary in the Chief Executive's statement compare results for
the six months ending 31 December 2006 to the six months ending 31 December
2005.

   Revenue increased by 41% to 126m
   Adjusted operating margin increased from 17.3% to 18.0% *
    (statutory operating margin 16.0% (2005: 15.8%)
   Adjusted operating profit increased by 47% to 22.8m
    (statutory operating profit increased by 43% to 20.3m)
   Adjusted pre-tax profits increased by 52% to 20.6m
    (statutory pre-tax profits increased by 48% to 18.1m)
   Adjusted diluted EPS increased by 25% to 10.51p
    (statutory diluted EPS  increased by 18% to 8.74p)
   Interim dividend of 5.2p per share


* Adjusted results for the six months ending 31 December 2006 are before
amortisation of intangible fixed assets of 1,148k, an impairment of intangible
assets of 406k, share option charge of 164k and abortive acquisition costs of
766k. Adjusted results for the six months ending 31 December 2005 are before
amortisation of intangible assets of 1,097k and share option charge of 248k.



                       Chief Executive's statement
               for the six months ending 31st December 2006


Overview

I am pleased to be able to report that strong growth in the business has
continued in the first six months of the new financial year.  A total of 65,714
hires generated almost 1.5m car hire days (2005: 51,460 hires and 1.2m days,
increases of 28% and 25% respectively).



Financial Results

Revenue grew by 41% to over 126m from 90m in the same period in 2005.  This
increase over and above the growth in hire days is due to the tariff increase
agreed by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the continuing growth of
our credit repair and personal injury claims management services adopted by our
referrers. Gross profits also increased by 39% to 52.8m (2005: 38.1m).



Operating profit increased by 43% to 20.3m (2005: 14.2m). This result
incorporates amortisation and impairment of intangible assets, a charge relating
to share options, abortive acquisition costs and Albany claims. Excluding these
items, adjusted operating profit is 22.8m (2005: 15.6m), increasing the margin
at this level from 17.3% to 18.0%.  Adjusted profit before tax was 20.6m (2005:
13.5m) an increase of 52%.



Debtor days at 31 December 2006 were 213 compared with 202 at 30 June 2006. The
increase was a temporary one caused by the receipt of a large settlement from
one of the major insurers several days after the period-end. Progress continues
to be made in improving the case settlement process and the underlying average
settlement period is expected to fall.



Aborted negotiations in Autumn 2006 in connection with a possible acquisition
and the associated due diligence process resulted in an exceptional cost of
0.8m.



Diluted earnings per share increased by 17.6% to 8.74p (2005: 7.43p). Adjusted
diluted earnings per share increased by 24.5% to 10.51p (2005: 8.44p). The
earnings per share in the six months ended 31 December 2005 benefited from a
lower effective tax rate of 18.4% because of the use of brought forward tax
losses. If the current period's effective tax rate of 32% had applied to that
period, the growth in adjusted diluted earnings per share would have been 45%.



Operational Performance

The number of cases handled in the period was 65,714 and the number of those
where the repair of the vehicle was also managed has risen to 23,890 (2005:
19,007).



More than 14,200 personal injury claims were also processed in the period.


Over 96% of hires were fulfilled using the Group's own fleet which now comprises
more than 12,650 vehicles. A single fleet for the whole Group is now being
operated with 25 depots distributed around the United Kingdom.



Divisional Developments

The Group is now structured into three divisions: Automotive, Albany and
Helphire / Angel.



The 'Automotive Division' of the Group, which deals with claims generated by
automotive dealerships and car body repair shops, has been integrated with Swift
Rent-A-Car, the prestige credit hire specialist acquired in 2005.  This division
is now based in Northwich, Cheshire, in a newly-acquired call centre facility
close to the original Swift headquarters.  This division will continue to target
both Prestige and Mainstream car dealerships and repairers.


Albany, based in Peterlee, which provides services to both Uninsured Loss
Recovery and insurer customers, continues to grow and has acquired a number of
new clients.  The call centre in which it is based is being fully refurbished
over the next six months.



The Helphire / Angel Division, based in Bath, has expanded into a new call
centre facility in Bristol in which there are already over two hundred staff.
Further expansion is planned in Bristol.



The total number of staff employed in the Group as at 31 December 2006 was
1,794.  Of these 245 are based in Peterlee with Albany, 115 in Northwich in the
Automotive Division, 460 in the branch network distributed around the United
Kingdom, and the remaining 974 in Bath and Bristol.



Infrastructure

The freehold on the new, larger call centre facility purchased in Northwich for
the Automotive Division cost 6.4m. The building comprises 36,000 square feet of
floor space arranged in three floors of which two are currently sublet to a
third party but unoccupied.  This facility provides the space required for the
Division's growth over the next two years.



Board Changes

We are pleased to welcome two new Non-Executive Directors to the Board. Mike
O'Leary, previously a Main Board member of Misys plc, joined us on 1 October
2006 and David Paige, previously a Main Board Director at Royal Sun Alliance,
joined us on 1 February 2007.  Alistair Mathers is retiring from the Board at
the end of May.  Alistair has served as a Non-Executive Director and Chairman of
the Audit Committee since Helphire's flotation in April 1997.  I would like to
take the opportunity to thank him for his great contribution over this period
and wish him all the best for the future.



Dividends

This is the first interim report since the change of the financial year-end from
31 March to 30 June.  Last year, a total dividend of 10p was paid for the
fifteen-month period to 30 June, which is equivalent to 8p when annualised.



The progressive dividend policy will continue.  I am therefore pleased to be
able to announce that the Board is recommending an interim dividend payment of
5.2p, which will be paid on 1 May 2007 to shareholders on the register as at 30
March 2007.



Mark Jackson
Chief Executive



consolidated income statement for the six months to 31 December 2006





                                                           Unaudited       Unaudited         Audited
                           Note                       6 months ended  6 months ended 15 months ended
                                                         31 December     31 December         30 June
                                                                2006            2005            2006
                                                               Total           Total           Total
                                                               '000           '000           '000

Revenue                                                      126,514          89,754         231,387
Cost of sales                                               (73,745)        (51,693)       (133,903)
Gross profit                                                  52,769          38,061          97,484

Administrative Expenses:
        Amortisation of intangible assets                    (1,148)         (1,097)         (2,870)
        Impairment of intangible assets                        (406)               -               -
        IFRS 2 share-based payment                             (164)           (248)           (722)
charge                                                         (766)               -               -
        Abortive acquisition costs                                 -               -           (578)
        Albany claims                                       (31,723)        (23,743)        (63,351)   
        Other                                                      


                                                            (34,207)        (25,088)        (67,521)
Other operating income                                         1,743           1,239           3,452

Operating profit                                              20,305          14,212          33,415

                                                              22,789          15,557          37,585
Adjusted operating profit*

Finance costs                                                (2,238)         (2,033)         (5,048)

Profit on ordinary activities before taxation                                 
Tax on profit on ordinary activities                          18,067          12,179          28,367
               3                                  (5,784)                    (2,283)         (5,484)
Profit for the period                                         12,283           9,896          22,883

Earnings per share

Basic                                                          9.01p           7.59p          17.67p
Diluted                                                        8.74p           7.43p          17.27p
Adjusted basic (see note 4)                                   10.84p           8.63p          20.89p
Adjusted diluted (see note 4)                                 10.51p           8.44p          20.42p





*Adjusted operating profit is stated before the charges for amortisation of
intangible assets, impairment of intangible assets, IFRS 2 share-based payment
charges, abortive acquisition costs and Albany claims.


All activities relate to continuing operations.


consolidated balance sheet as at 31 December 2006


                                              Unaudited            Unaudited              Audited
                                         6 months ended       6 months ended      15 months ended
                                            31 December          31 December              30 June
                                                   2006                 2005                 2006
                                                  Total                Total                Total
                                                  '000                '000                '000
Assets
Non-current assets:
Goodwill                                         67,052               66,413               67,052
Other intangible assets                           6,793                5,676                6,259
Property, plant and equipment                   101,373               44,407               50,702
(including vehicles)                                300                  300                  300
Investments                                       4,877                5,493                6,733
Deferred tax asset
                                                180,395              122,289              131,046

Current assets:
Trade and other receivables                     156,291              114,767              125,938
Cash and cash equivalents                         6,326                8,264                8,758

                                                162,617              123,031              134,696

Total assets                                    343,012              245,320              265,742

Liabilities
Current liabilities:
Trade and other payables                       (37,433)             (27,554)             (37,928)
Tax liabilities                                 (3,161)              (1,855)              (3,076)
Obligations under finance leases               (89,649)             (34,488)             (37,230)
Short term borrowing and                       (40,243)             (46,280)             (48,966)
overdrafts
                                              (170,486)            (110,177)            (127,200)

Net current (liabilities) / assets              (7,869)               12,854                7,496

Non-current liabilities:

Bank loans                                     (38,939)             (17,730)             (15,487)
Deferred tax liability                          (5,024)              (1,602)              (2,467)
Obligations under finance leases                (9,899)              (6,907)              (9,755)
                                               (53,862)             (26,239)             (27,709)

Total liabilities                             (224,348)            (136,416)            (154,909)

Net assets                                      118,664              108,904              110,833

Equity
Share capital                                     6,849                6,781                6,799
Share premium account                            67,326               65,665               66,106
Equity reserve                                    4,317                2,832                4,583
Retained earnings                                40,172               33,626               33,345
Total equity                                    118,664              108,904              110,833




consolidated statement of changes in equity for the six months ended 31 December
2006



                                        Share     Share premium       Equity      Retained
                                      capital           account      reserve      earnings        Total
                                        '000             '000        '000         '000        '000
                                                                                                
Six months ending 31 December
2005                                    5,907            23,940        2,582        28,102       60,531
Balance at 1 July 2005                      -                 -            -         9,896        9,896
Profit for the period                     874            41,725            -             -       42,599
Issue of new ordinary shares                -                 -          248             -          248
Share based incentive plans                 -                 -            2             -            2
Deferred tax-share based
incentive plan                              -                 -            -       (4,372)      (4,372)
Dividend


Balance at 31 December 2005             6,781            65,665        2,832        33,626      108,904

Fifteen months ended 30 June
2006                                    5,907            23,936        1,585        22,982       54,410
Balance at 1 April 2005                     -                 -            -        22,883       22,883
Profit for the period                     892            42,170            -             -       43,062
Issue of new ordinary shares                -                 -          722             -          722
Share based incentive plans                 -                 -        2,276             -        2,276
Deferred tax-share based
incentive plan                              -                 -            -      (12,520)     (12,520)
Dividend


Balance at 30 June 2006                 6,799            66,106        4,583        33,345      110,833

Six months ended 31 December
2006                                    6,799            66,106        4,583        33,345      110,833
Balance at 1 July 2006                      -                 -            -        12,283       12,283
Profit for the period                      50             1,220            -             -        1,270
Issue of new ordinary shares                -                 -          164             -          164
Share based incentive plans                 -                 -        (430)             -        (430)
Deferred tax-share based
incentive plan                              -                 -            -       (5,456)      (5,456)
Dividend

Balance at 31 December 2006             6,849            67,326        4,317        40,172      118,664



consolidated cash flow statement for the six months ended 31 December 2006


                                                      Unaudited       Unaudited           Audited
                                                 6 months ended  6 months ended   15 months ended
                                                    31 December     31 December           30 June
                                                           2006            2005              2006
                                                          Total           Total             Total
                                                          '000           '000             '000
Cash flows from operating activities:

Operating profit                                         20,305          14,212            33,415
Depreciation, amortisation and impairment                10,464           5,437            14,486
charges                                                   (300)           (195)                 4
Gains on sale of tangible fixed assets                      164             248               722
Shared based payment charge                            (30,353)        (22,829)          (39,361)
Increase in debtors                                       3,584           4,270             5,851
Increase in creditors

Cash generated from operations                            3,864           1,143            15,117
Bank and loan interest paid                             (2,009)         (1,787)           (4,511)
Interest element of finance lease rentals                 (229)           (246)             (537)


Taxation paid                                           (1,716)               -           (2,322)

Net cash flow from operating activities                    (90)           (890)             7,747
Cash flows from investing activities:
Purchase of property, plant and equipment               (6,103)           (913)           (6,071)
Purchase of other intangible assets                     (2,088)           (664)           (2,585)
Proceeds from sale of plant and equipment                12,124           4,124            14,716
Acquisitions                                                  -        (17,574)          (17,574)
Cash and cash equivalents required                            -             395               395
Net cash inflow/(outflow) from investing                  3,933        (14,632)          (11,119)
activities
Cash flows from financing activities:                    1,270          39,374            39,837
Net proceeds from issue of ordinary share
capital                                                (20,899)               -                 -
Repayment of loan notes                                  19,859        (13,000)          (19,372)
Bank and other loans                                   (12,739)         (5,746)          (23,270)
Finance lease principal repayments                      (9,535)         (4,372)           (8,441)
Dividends paid to shareholders

Net cash flow from financing activities                (22,044)          16,256          (11,246)

Net (decrease)/increase in cash & cash                 (18,201)             734          (14,618)
equivalents
                                                       (14,423)        (15,708)               195
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of
period
Cash and cash equivalents at end of period             (32,624)        (14,974)          (14,423)

Cash and cash equivalents consist of:
                                                          6,326           8,264             4,736
Cash at bank and in hand                                      -               -             4,022   
Cash held in restricted deposit                        (38,950)        (23,238)          (23,181)
Bank overdraft                                         

                                                       (32,624)        (14,974)          (14,423)




notes to the interim report


1          BASIS OF PREPARATION

The unaudited interim financial statements have been prepared on the basis of
all International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS") that are expected to be
applicable for the Company's statutory accounts for the year ending 30 June
2007. These standards are subject to ongoing review and possible amendment.
Further standards and/or interpretations could be issued that could apply to
that year. If any such amendments, new standards or new interpretations are
issued these may require the financial information provided in this interim
report to be changed. Helphire will also continue to review it's accounting
policies in light of emerging industry consensus on the practical application of
IFRS.



The Directors have chosen not to comply with IAS 34. Accordingly, the interim
financial statements do not comply with all the disclosures in IAS 34 on interim
reporting and are therefore not in full compliance with IFRS.



The interim financial information for the six months ended 31 December 2006 and
the six months ended 31 December 2005 has not been audited and does not
constitute statutory accounts within the meaning of Section 240 of the Companies
Act 1985.



The information for the fifteen-month period ended 30 June 2006 does not
constitute statutory accounts as defined by Section 240 of the Companies Act
1985. A copy of the statutory accounts, which were prepared under IFRS and on
which the Company's auditors gave an unqualified report, have been filed with
the Registrar of Companies.



2          ACCOUNTING POLICIES

The accounting policies followed in the preparation of this interim report have
been applied consistently to all periods presented and do not differ
significantly from those applying in the last financial statements for the
fifteen-month period ended 30 June 2006.




3          TAXATION

                                            Unaudited          Unaudited            Audited
                                       6 months ended     6 months ended    15 months ended
                                          31 December        31 December            30 June
                                                 2006               2005               2006
                                                Total              Total              Total
                                                '000              '000              '000

Current year UK corporation tax                 2,106              2,078              4,473
Current year deferred tax                       3,678                205              1,011

Total tax charge                                5,784              2,283              5,484




4          EARNINGS PER SHARE

The calculation of basic earnings per share is based on the profit after tax and
the weighted average number of ordinary shares during each period. The number of
shares is 136,251,504 for the six months ended 31 December 2006, 130,304,837 for
the six months ended 31 December 2005 and 129,523,905 for the fifteen months
ended 30 June 2006. The calculation of diluted earnings per share is based on
140,471,360 potential ordinary shares for the six months ended 31 December 2006,
133,198,556 potential ordinary shares for the six months ended 31 December 2005
and 132,511,891 potential ordinary shares for the fifteen months ended 30 June
2006.



Adjusted earnings per share is based on the profit for the period adjusted for
the following factors and the weighted average number of ordinary shares shown
above. For the six months ended 31 December 2006, adjusted profit for the period
is before intangible asset amortisation of 1,148,000 (2005: 1,097,000),
intangible asset impairment charge of 406,000 (2005: Nil), share-based payment
charge of 164,000 (2005: 248,000) and abortive acquisition costs of 766,000
(2005: Nil). For the fifteen month period ended 30 June 2006, adjusted profit
for the period is before intangible asset amortisation of 2,870,000,
share-based payment charge of 722,000 and Albany claims of 578,000.




5          DIVIDENDS


                                                      Unaudited            Unaudited              Audited
                                                 6 months ended        6 month ended      15 months ended
                                                    31 December          31 December              30 June
                                                           2006                 2005                 2006
                                                          Total                Total                Total
                                                          '000                '000                '000

Amounts recognised as distributions to
equity holders in the period:
Final dividend for 15 month period ended                  5,456                    -                    -
30 June 2006 of 4.0p per ordinary share                   
Final dividend for the year ended 31                          -                4,372                4,372
March 2005 of 3.7p per ordinary share                        
Interim dividends for the 15 month period                     -                    -                8,148 
ending 30 June 2006 of 6.0p per ordinary
share
                                                          5,456                4,372               12,520



A proposed interim dividend of 5.2p was approved by the Board on 7 March 2007
and has not been recognised as a liability at 31 December 2006.  It will be paid
on 1 May 2007 to shareholders on the register on 30 March 2007.



The final dividend for the fifteen month period ended 30 June 2006 of 5,456,000
was paid during the six month period ended 31 December 2006, together with
4,079,000 of the interim dividends for that period, which was recognised as a
liability at 30 June 2006.




6          ANALYSIS AND RECONCILIATION OF NET DEBT



                                                                       
                                              30 June                  Other non-cash       31 December
                                                 2006     Cash flow           changes              2006
                                                '000         '000             '000             '000
                                                                              
Cash at bank and in hand                        4,736         1,590                 -             6,326
Cash held in restricted deposit                 4,022       (4,022)                 -                 -
Overdrafts                                   (23,181)      (15,769)                 -          (38,950)
                                             (14,423)      (18,201)                 -          (32,624)



Debt due after more than one year            (15,487)      (23,452)                            (38,939)
Debt due within one year                     (25,785)        24,492                             (1,293)
Finance leases                               (46,985)        12,739          (65,302)          (99,548)

Net debt                                    (102,680)       (4,422)          (65,302)         (172,404)




Independent review report to Helphire group plc


Introduction

We have been instructed by the Company to review the financial information for
the six months ended 31 December 2006 which comprises the consolidated income
statement, the consolidated balance sheet, the consolidated statement of changes
in equity, the consolidated cash flow statement and the related notes 1 to 6. We
have read the other information contained in the interim report and considered
whether it contains any apparent misstatements or material inconsistencies with
the financial information.



This report is made solely to the Company in accordance with Bulletin 1999/4
issued by the Auditing Practices Board. Our work has been undertaken so that we
might state to the Company those matters we are required to state to them in an
independent review report and for no other purpose. To the fullest extent
permitted by law, we do not accept or assume responsibility to anyone other than
the Company, for our review work, for this report, or for the conclusions we
have formed.



Director's Responsibilities

The interim report, including the financial information contained therein, is
the responsibility of, and has been approved by, the Directors. The Directors
are responsible for preparing the interim report in accordance with the Listing
Rules of the Financial Services Authority which require that the accounting
policies and presentation applied to the interim figures are consistent with
those applied in preparing the preceding annual accounts except where any
changes, and the reasons for them, are disclosed.



Review Work Performed

We conducted our review in accordance with the guidance Bulletin 1999/4 issued
by the Auditing Practices Board for use in the United Kingdom. A review consists
principally of making enquiries of group management and applying analytical
procedures to the financial information and underlying financial data and, based
thereon, assessing whether the accounting policies and presentation have been
consistently applied unless otherwise disclosed. A review excludes audit
procedures such as tests of controls and verification of assets, liabilities and
transactions. It is substantially less in scope than an audit performed in
accordance with the International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland) and
therefore provides a lower level of assurance than an audit. Accordingly, we do
not express an audit option on the financial information.



Review Conclusion

On the basis of our review we are not aware of any material modifications that
should be made to the financial information as presented for the six months
ended 31 December 2006.



Deloitte and Touche LLP
Chartered Accountants


Bristol
19 March 2007


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