RNS Number:4124E
Helphire Group PLC
25 September 2007








Date          25 September 2007

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

              Chris Steele/ Tarquin Edwards                Tel: 07979 604 687/ 07879 458 364
              Adventis Financial PR                        Tel: 020 7034 4759/4758




                               Helphire Group plc


                    Results for the year ended 30 June 2007



Helphire Group plc ("Helphire" or the "Group"), the non-fault accident
management assistance and related services company, today announces its results
for the twelve-month period ended 30 June 2007.  Highlights include:


Highlights*


?     Hire volumes increased by 34%

?     Credit repair cases increased by 33%

?     Personal injury cases increased by 13%

?     Growth in turnover of 49%

?     Gross profit up by 42%

?     Growth in operating profit of 58%

?     Diluted EPS growth of 45% despite an increase in the effective tax
      charge from 19.3% to 26.6%

?     Final dividend of 5.8p (net) - 11.0p net in total



*The statutory comparative period is for the 15 months to 30 June 2006.The
highlights compare audited results for the twelve-month period to 30 June 2007
to the unaudited results for the twelve-month period ended 30 June 2006, because
in the opinion of the Directors this provides a more meaningful comparison.
Analysis against the 15 month comparative period is given in the Finance
Director's review. On this basis, the increases in turnover and operating profit
are 25% and 35%, respectively.





Commenting on the results, Chief Executive Mark Jackson said:

"This has been another extremely successful year and we are confident of further
strong progress in the coming year."





Chief Executive's Statement



Overview


The last 12 months have seen continuing strong growth across all of the Group's
main trading activities. The market demand for replacement vehicles for the
victims of accidents continues to grow from referrers of cases from both the
insurance and automotive industries. This period has also seen the first steps
taken in exploiting the potential for Helphire to expand into other European
countries, starting with Spain in October.


A significant event in the expansion of the Group's Legal Services provision
also took place after the year end with the announcement on 7 August  of a
commercial agreement with CS2, one of the UK's largest claimant personal injury
services companies.


Trading Results


In comparing the 12 month audited accounts for the period to 30 June 2007 with
unaudited financial data for the 12 months to 30 June 2006 the results are as
follows. Turnover has grown by 49% to ?290.0m; hire volumes increased by 34% to
148,340; the number of credit repair cases increased by 33% to 55,116 whilst the
number of personal injury cases increased by 13% to 30,233. Profit before tax
increased by 63% to ?40.3m.


Operations & Infrastructure


The Group's operational presence continues to expand to address the growing
market opportunity. The Helphire and Angel Division is based in call centre
accommodation in Bath and Bristol, the Automotive Division in Northwich and the
Albany Division in Peterlee. As at 30 June 2007, the Group employed a total of
2,052 people, 1,114 in Bath and Bristol, 146 in Northwich, 296 in Peterlee and
496 in the branches, an increase of 18% over the last 12 months. The Group now
has a total of 29 depots from which the fleet of over 17,000 vehicles are
collected and delivered.


Development work has continued on two major business process improvement
projects supported by significant new technology systems.


A new fleet management system has been introduced which has facilitated fleet
acquisition and disposal planning and fulfilment. A second phase of this program
introducing fleet logistics improvements is scheduled for the next six months.
This system is expected to enhance operations through more efficiently
distributing the available fleet.


The first release of the new claims processing system, Project Expedite, has now
gone live and is due to have full functionality by the end of the current
financial year. The financial business benefit will begin to impact in the year
to 30 June 2009.


Helphire continues to explore the potential of providing credit hire services in
European markets and early signs are encouraging. An office has now been opened
in Madrid and it is anticipated that the first credit hire cases in Spain will
be processed in October 2007.





Commercial agreement with CS2 Lawyers


At the beginning of August, the Group announced an important development in its
legal services and claims management operations by a commercial arrangement with
CS2 Lawyers Limited and the acquisition of a group of legal services businesses.
This investment in the legal services market is anticipated to realise
significant cost and revenue synergies and strengthens the position of the
Helphire Group as a market leader in the motor claims management.


Dividends


Due to the continued strong growth of the Group, the Board will continue with
the progressive dividend previously announced. At the end of the first six
months of the current financial period, an interim dividend payment of 5.2p was
declared. I am now pleased to be able to announce that the Board is recommending
a final dividend payment of 5.8p making 11.0p (2006 annualised: 8.0p) for the
year. This dividend will be paid on 5 December 2007 to shareholders on the
register at 26 October 2007.


Outlook


The market for accident management services and replacement vehicle provision in
the UK continues to expand. There has been an increase in the interest in and
utilisation of these services by the insurance industry in particular. Generally
increased awareness of the services we provide and improvement in operational
processes by the referrers of cases are also driving increased penetration of
the market place.


The new financial year has started well with a combination of inclement weather
and new referral sources leading to a busier than normal summer period which
bodes well for the forthcoming autumn.


Mark Jackson
Chief Executive
24 September 2007





Finance Director's Review


In order to achieve a meaningful comparison of data I refer to the audited
accounts for the 12 months to 30 June 2007 as compared with the unaudited
financial data for the 12 months to 30 June 2006. To comply with statutory
obligations I have also referred to the audited accounts for the 15 month period
to 30 June 2006.


Revenue

Turnover has grown by 49% to ?290m (12 months to 30 June 2006: ?195m). Hire
volumes increased by 11% to 148,340 (12 months to 30 June 2006 ; 110,725), a
figure which includes 8,415 standard hires (12 months to 30 June 2006: 10,220)
which are non credit hire services provided to insurance companies at a reduced
tariff as compared with the ABI GTA rates. Credit repair cases increased by 33%
to 55,116 (12 months to 30 June 2006: 41,506) whilst the number of PI cases
increased by 13% to 30,233 (12 months to 30 June 2006: 26,870). In addition to
the increased contribution per case, the change in mix of our revenue has
contributed to an overall increase in the revenue per case by 11% to ?1,957 (12
months to 30 June 2006: ?1,765).


On a statutory basis, turnover for the 12 months to 30 June 2007 was ?290m (15
months to 30 June 2006 : ?231m).


Helphire continues to benefit from the acquisition of key insurance accounts -
the Group's business sourced from the automotive sector has been consolidated
with the Swift operation as the Automotive division and enhances our focus in
this area. In June 2007 the Group signed an exclusive three year deal with
Pendragon Plc - the largest car dealership group in Europe. Referrals are
expected to build from a low base to a level comparable to other major key
accounts deriving significant benefits to both parties.


In August 2007 the Group announced an investment in, and strategic alliance
with, CS2 - a legal firm based in Chesterfield. CS2 will enable the Group to
expand its activities within the PI marketplace and improve margins through
efficiencies.


Gross margins

Gross profit grew by 42% to ?115m (12 months to 30 June 2006: ?81m). As a
percentage the margin has reduced from 42% to 40%. Whilst the credit hire and PI
margins have been suppressed by increasing referral commissions, this has been
countered somewhat by the increase in tariff and savings made on fleet costs.
The margin has also been adversely affected by the slower growth in PI cases as
compared with hire and repair, as some new sources of business have not included
personal injury management. However, the arrangement with CS2 should improve PI
contribution going forward.


Statutory gross profit was ?115m (15 months to 30 June 2006 : ?97m).


Looking ahead to the current financial year the Board expects the consolidated
gross margin to be maintained around current levels.


Operating margin

The operating margin increased from 14.6% to 15.6%, whilst the adjusted
operating profit margin increased from 16.0% to 17.2%. Further expansion is
expected in the current financial year, however a more significant improvement
can be expected in the year to 30 June 2009 during which significant benefits
from the Group's new IT platform are likely.


Statutory operating profit was ?45.2m (15 months to 30 June 2006 : ?33.4m).


Financial performance

Profit before tax increased by 63% to ?40.3m (12 months to 30 June 2006:
?24.7m). Adjusted* profit before tax increased by 55% to ?45m (12 months to 30
June 2006: ?29m).


Statutory profit before tax was ?40.3m (15 months to 30 June 2006 : ?28.4m).


Debtors, working capital and cash flow

Outstanding claims at 30 June 2007 stood at ?174m (2006: ?112m). Calculated on a
standard basis, this represents debtor days of 219 (2006: 206). Debtor days on a
countback basis were 215 (2006: 214), which takes account of fluctuation in
business volumes. The weighted average age of claims has improved by 8% and a
surplus of ?0.3m in free cash flow (being the net cash flow from operating and
investing activities (excluding acquisitions) less finance lease principal
repayments) has been generated compared with a consumption in the year to June
2006 of ?9.5m. Net cash flow from operating activities was ?11.8m (15 months to
30 June 2006 : ?7.7m).


Fleet


Over the past three years the Group has increased the proportion of "owned"
vehicles on its rental fleet to benefit from lower holding costs. By owning as
opposed to leasing, the Group saves the margin charged by leasing companies and
benefits from the purchasing power associated with a fleet of around 17,000
vehicles with an average holding period of twelve months. Helphire's fleet
mirrors the 'car park' of vehicles on the road and the consequent diversity of
the fleet supports high residual values on resale.


Interest rate risk

The Group finances its operations from a mixture of equity, bank borrowings and
lease financing. The Group borrows in sterling at floating rates of interest
with a margin of between 0.95% and 2.00% above LIBOR. A hedging strategy is
under consideration to cover the risk associated with rising interest rates on
core debt funding.


Liquidity risk

On 31 July 2007, the Group entered into a new banking arrangement. A syndicate
of banks comprising HBOS and RBS now provide combined facilities of ?150m which
mature after more than twelve months. ?60m is earmarked for working capital
(excluding vehicle purchases); ?40m relates to the funding of past acquisitions
and a further ?50m has been set aside for unspecified acquisitions. The Group
also has separate facilities in place to fund fleet acquisitions.


Critical judgements

As detailed in the accounts, the Directors have made critical judgements in
relation to expected future adjustments of claims against motor insurers;
depreciation of the rental fleet and the capitalisation and amortisation of IT
development costs. By their very nature, these areas are inherently
judgemental.


Capital expenditure

Capital expenditure during the year amounted to ?146m, with ?132m representing
the spend on vehicles; and ?14m on a new call centre in Northwich, leasehold
improvements, fixtures and fittings and investment in new technology.


Tax

The effective tax charge has risen from 19% to 27% but is lower that the
expected rate of 30% noted in my report last year. This benefit has resulted
from re-assessment of certain estimates made in prior years.


Whilst the Group has incurred an increasing tax charge over the past two years
as tax losses have been utilised, the cash burden has been limited by
accelerated capital allowances associated with our expanding fleet of vehicles.


Earnings per share

The diluted basic earnings per share increased by 45% to 21.04p (12 months to 30
June 2006 : 14.49p).


The statutory diluted basic earnings per share increased by 22% to 21.04p (15
months to June 2006: 17.27p). These figures were distorted by certain items as
adjusted* below and an increasing tax charge resulting from the diminishing
benefit of losses brought forward. As explained above, the tax charge has risen
from an effective rate of 19% to 27% for the respective periods. On an adjusted*
basis and applying a tax charge of 27% in both periods diluted earnings per
share rose by 56% to 23.67p (12 months to 30 June 2006: 15.20p).


Share capital and reserves

During the year the Group's reserves were increased by ?21m.


Pro forma information (unaudited)


                                               12 Months to 30 June     12 Months to 30 June              Change
                                                     2007 (audited)         2006 (unaudited)
                                                          ? million                ? million                   %
Revenue                                                       290.3                    195.4                 49%
Gross profit                                                  115.2                     81.4                 42%
Gross margin (%)                                                40%                      42%
Adjusted* operating profit                                     50.0                     31.9                 57%
Adjusted* operating margin (%)                                  17%                      16%
Operating profit                                               45.2                     28.6                 58%
Amortisation                                                  (2.3)                    (2.3)                   -
Costs / income adjusted*                                      (2.4)                    (1.0)              (140%)
Profit before tax                                              40.3                     24.7                 63%
Profit after tax                                               29.5                     19.2                 54%
Diluted basic EPS                                            21.04p                   14.49p                 45%
Adjusted* EPS diluted applying tax charge
of 27% in both years (p)                                     23.67p                   15.20p                 56%
Hire volumes (no.)                                          148,340                  110,725                 34%
Repair volumes (no.)                                         55,116                   41,506                 33%
PI volumes (no.)                                             30,233                   26,870                 13%


The unaudited results for the 12 months ended 30 June 2006 are actual results
extracted from the management accounts.


* Adjusted financial information in the current period excludes the impact of
amortisation of intangible assets, impairment of intangible assets, abortive
acquisition costs and share-based payment charge. The comparative figures to 30
June 2006  exclude  the impact of amortisation of intangible assets, share-based
payment charge and Albany claims. These items are shown separately in the income
statement.




Consolidated Income Statement
For the year ended 30 June 2007

                                                           Note    Year ended    15 months
                                                                      30 June        ended
                                                                         2007      30 June
                                                                                      2006
Continuing operations                                                   ?'000        ?'000

Revenue                                                               290,318      231,387

Cost of sales                                                       (175,118)    (133,903)

Gross profit                                                          115,200       97,484


Administrative expenses:
Abortive acquisition costs                                              (766)            -
Amortisation of intangible assets                                     (2,296)      (2,870)
Impairment of intangible assets                                         (406)            -
Share-based payment charge                                            (1,275)        (722)
Albany claims                                                               -        (578)
Other                                                                (69,107)     (63,351)

                                                                     (73,850)     (67,521)
Other operating income                                                  3,889        3,452


Operating profit                                                       45,239       33,415
Finance costs                                                         (4,975)      (5,048)

Profit before tax                                                      40,264       28,367
Tax on profit on ordinary activities                                 (10,727)      (5,484)

Profit for the period                                                  29,537       22,883


Earnings per share
Basic                                                          1       21.55p       17.67p

Diluted                                                        1       21.04p       17.27p


Adjusted earnings per share
Basic                                                          1       24.25p       19.90p
Diluted                                                        1       23.67p       19.45p






Consolidated statement of changes in equity
For the year ended 30 June 2007

                                                                     Share                  
                                                         Share     Premium      Equity     Retained
                                                       capital     account     Reserve     earnings       Total
                                                         ?'000       ?'000       ?'000        ?'000       ?'000

Balance at 1 April 2005                                  5,907      23,936       1,585       22,982      54,410

Profit for the period                                        -           -           -       22,883      22,883

Issue of new ordinary shares                               892      42,170           -            -      43,062

Share based incentive plans                                  -           -         722            -         722

Deferred tax - share based incentive plan                    -           -       2,276            -       2,276

Dividend paid                                                -           -           -     (12,520)    (12,520)



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

Profit for the year                                          -           -           -       29,537      29,537

Issue of new ordinary shares                               111       2,558           -            -       2,669

Share based incentive plans                                  -           -       1,275            -       1,275

Deferred tax - share based incentive plan                    -           -     (1,424)            -     (1,424)

Current tax - share based incentive plan                     -           -       1,772            -       1,772

Dividend paid                                                -           -           -     (12,622)    (12,622)

Balance at 30 June 2007                                  6,910      68,664       6,206       50,260     132,040





Consolidated Balance Sheet
As at 30 June 2007

                                                                                            2007          2006
                                                                                           ?'000         ?'000

Non-current assets
Goodwill                                                                                  67,052        67,052
Intangible assets                                                                          7,502         6,259
Property, plant and equipment                                                            144,109        50,702
(including vehicles)
Investments                                                                                  300           300
Deferred tax asset                                                                         2,054         6,733
Other receivables                                                                          2,023             -
                                                                                         223,040       131,046

Current assets

Trade and other receivables                                                              191,494       125,938
Tax receivable                                                                               432             -
Cash and cash equivalents                                                                  4,895         8,758
                                                                                         196,821       134,696
 Total assets                                                                            419,861       265,742

Current liabilities
Trade and other payables                                                                (52,865)      (37,928)
Tax liabilities                                                                                -       (3,076)
Obligations under finance leases                                                       (126,237)      (37,230)
Short-term borrowings and overdrafts                                                    (47,221)      (48,966)
                                                                                       (226,323)     (127,200)

Net current (liabilities) / assets                                                      (29,502)         7,496

Non-current liabilities

Long term borrowings and overdrafts                                                     (33,498)      (15,487)
Deferred tax liability                                                                   (7,394)       (2,467)
Obligations under finance leases                                                        (20,606)       (9,755)
                                                                                        (61,498)      (27,709)
Total liabilities                                                                      (287,821)     (154,909)
Net Assets                                                                               132,040       110,833

Equity

Share capital                                                                              6,910         6,799
Share premium account                                                                     68,664        66,106
Equity reserve                                                                             6,206         4,583
Retained earnings                                                                         50,260        33,345
Total equity                                                                             132,040       110,833




Consolidated Cash Flow Statement
for the year ended 30 June 2007
                                                                                                         15 months
                                                                             Year  ended                  ended 30
                                                                            30 June 2007                 June 2006 
                                                                ?'000              ?'000        ?'000        ?'000

Cash flows from operating activities
Operating profit                                                45,239                         33,415
Depreciation, amortisation and impairment charges               23,352                         14,485
Gains on sale of tangible fixed assets                           (440)                              4
Share based payment charge                                       1,275                            722
Increase in debtors                                           (67,541)                       (39,360)
Increase in creditors                                           19,014                          5,851
Cash generated from operations                                                     20,899                   15,117

Bank and loan interest paid                                    (4,438)                        (4,511)

Interest element of finance lease rentals                        (537)                          (537)
                                                                                  (4,975)                  (5,048)

Taxation paid                                                                     (4,094)                  (2,322)
Net cash flow from operating activities                                            11,830                   7,747

Cash flows from investing activities

Purchase of property, plant and equipment                      (2,161)                        (6,071)

Purchase of other intangible assets                            (3,945)                        (2,586)

Proceeds from sale of plant and equipment                       32,137                         14,717

Acquisitions                                                         -                       (17,574)

Cash and cash equivalents acquired                                   -                            395

Net cash flow from investing activities                                            26,031                 (11,119)



Cash flows from financing activities

Net proceeds from issue of ordinary share capital                2,444                         39,837

Net proceeds from issue of new loans                            16,444                              -

Repayment of borrowings                                       (25,599)                       (19,372)

Finance lease principal repayments                            (37,536)                       (23,270)

Dividends paid to shareholders                                (16,701)                        (8,441)

Net cash flow from financing activities                                          (60,948)                 (11,246)
Net decrease in cash and cash equivalents                                        (23,087)                 (14,618)



Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period                                 (14,423)                      195
Cash and cash equivalents at end of period                                       (37,510)                 (14,423)


Cash and cash equivalents consists of:
Cash at bank and in hand                                                            4,459                    4,736
Cash held in restricted deposit                                                       436                    4,022
Bank overdraft                                                                   (42,405)                 (23,181)
                                                                                 (37,510)                 (14,423)




Notes to the Financial Information


1          Earnings per Share

The calculation of the basic and diluted earnings per share is based on the
following data:


                                                                               Year ended 30  15 months ended
                                                                                   June 2007     30 June 2006
Earnings                                                                               ?'000            ?'000


Earnings for the purposes of basic and diluted earnings per share being               29,537           22,883
net profit attributable to equity holders

Number of shares                                                                      Number           Number
                                                                                 137,079,912      129,523,905

Weighted average number of ordinary shares for the purposes
of basic earnings per share
Effect of dilutive potential ordinary shares - share options                       2,549,480        2,987,986
Effect of dilutive potential ordinary shares - other share                           774,371                -
plans
Weighted average number of ordinary shares for the purposes                      140,403,763      132,511,891
of diluted earnings per share



 Adjusted earnings per share

Adjusted earnings per share is based on the weighted average number of shares as
for the unadjusted earnings per share and the profit for the period adjusted for
the following expenses:
                                                                                Year ended 30 15 months ended
                                                                                    June 2007          30 June
                                                                                                          2006
                                                                                        ?'000            ?'000


      Amortisation of intangible assets                                                 2,296            2,870
      Impairment of intangible assets                                                     406                -
       Aborted acquisition costs                                                          766                -
       Albany claims cost                                                                   -              578
       Share-based payment charge                                                       1,275              722
Adjustment to profit before tax                                                         4,743            4,170
Tax credits attributable to the above expenses                                        (1,040)          (1,277)
                                                                                        3,703            2,893

2          Segmental Information

 The financial statements are in respect of the Group's sole business segment of
non-fault accident services, conducted wholly in the United Kingdom. Helphire
Spain SL did not trade in the period under review.


3          Status of Audit

 The financial information set out above does not constitute the company's
statutory accounts for the year ended 30 June 2007 or the 15 months to 30 June
2006, but is derived from those accounts.  Statutory accounts for the 15 months
to 30 June 2006 have been delivered to the Registrar of Companies and those for
the year ended 30 June 2007 will be delivered following the company's annual
general meeting.  The auditors have reported on those accounts; their reports
were unqualified and did not contain statements under s. 237(2) or (3) Companies
Act 1985.


4          Basis of Preparation

While the financial information included in this preliminary announcement has
been prepared in accordance with the recognition and measurement criteria of
International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs), this announcement does not
itself contain sufficient information to comply with IFRSs.  The company expects
to publish full financial statements that comply with IFRSs later in September
2007.


The accounting policies applied in this preliminary announcement are consistent
with those in the full 30 June 2007 financial statements which have yet to be
published. There are no changes in accounting policy from the 30 June 2006
financial statements.



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