Accounts reveal rise in profit but boss bemoans reduction in wholesale capacity

Paul Moors Bollington

Bollington chairman Paul Moors is hopeful of wrapping up a deal to secure a speedy exit from parent company Groupama.

The Manchester-based broker was among three broking businesses put up for sale by French insurer Groupama SA in January.

Lark completed a management buy-out (MBO) in August and motorcycle specialist Carole Nash is still up for grabs but attracting a host of attention from trade buyers.

Bollington favours an MBO but has been frustrated in its attempts to secure backing.

Although he refused to comment specifically on the broker’s MBO plans, Moors told Insurance Times: “I am confident that the future of Bollington will be resolved in the short term.”

In accounts released to Companies House last week, Bollington posted an increase in post-tax profit of almost 50% to £1.39m for 2011 (2010: £985,176). Operating profits also rose to £2.7m (2010: £1.9m) and turnover remained flat at £10.8m (2010: £10.4m).

Moors said he was pleased with growth in its retail business, but bemoaned reduced income in the wholesale division which he put down to a reduction in capacity in taxi and taxi fleet business. “This greatly affected the wholesale results. Capacity has now been improved,” he said.

Bollington’s administrative expenses fell almost £0.5m to £7.6m. The report said that “significant action” had been taken to reduce overheads including the closure of offices in Witney and Preston.

The broker completed the acquisition of the commercial insurance portfolio from ChoiceQuote Insurance Services at the start of the year, funded by a £2.4m loan from parent company Groupama UK, the accounts revealed.

Read more in this week’s issue of Insurance Times, out Thursday.