Pre-tax profits at motor recycling group Universal Salvage increased by 9.6% to £2.8m in the six months to October 2000 as a result of improved operational efficiency.

Universal Salvage works closely with the insurance industry to remove claims costs by processing accident damaged vehicles and those that have reached the end of their shelf life.

In the past year it has extended its internet platforms for the sale and processing of damaged vehicles.

Chairman Alexander Foster said: “We have made considerable progress in our two core objectives of improving our operating efficiency and enhancing service levels.”

Its Status extranet system is used by a number of insurers to manage the salvage management process and has recently been enhanced to increase the volume of users significantly. Universal Salvage has developed a set of industry-wide standards for the presentation and categorisation of damaged vehicles.

Universal Salvage's internet auction website which sells reclaimed vehicles is receiving 2.2 million hits each month.

During the year 2000, Universal Select, the firm's recycled parts business, has been integrated into the

rest of the business after its purchase in April.