Aquilo, the business solutions and consulting services provider, announced "disappointing" financial results for the year ended 31 December 2003.

The group recorded a total operating loss (including the discontinued technology business) of £1.79m, more than tripling its 2002 total operating loss of £441,491.

But turnover was relatively stable, falling slightly from £2.53m to £2.51m in 2003.

Chief executive Clive Nicholls said: "In creating a new business, things have taken longer to come to fruition. We may feel some pain in the short term but over this last year we've built a great platform. We've had to install a new claims system and hire more staff."

The group said it also had a very poor second half due to the deferral of a technology contract, and subsequently the sale of this part of the business. It said that this entity produced a loss of £613,000 for 2003, compared to a loss of £154,000 in 2002.

In 2004, the group said it would continue to focus on claims management and advisory services. In line with this strategy, Aquilo acquired Rubicon's engineering inspection business in February 2004.

Nicholls added that Aquilo would move from the Ofex market, where it is currently listed, to float on the alternative investment market (AIM) on 6 May.

"AIM will give us access to a broader range of investors and will give us the ability to raise more capital," he said.