Firm projects a rebound in turnover and profit for 2009

Loss adjuster GAB Robins recorded a 40% drop in operating profit for 2008, from £3.4m in 2007 to £2.05m in 2008, as benign weather conditions reduced claims incidences.

GAB chief executive Kieran Rigby pointed out that 2007 was a bumper year for loss adjusters following the “great floods” that left huge swathes of middle England under water.

He said GAB had made up some of the lost ground by expanding its aviation portfolio and winning a fresh book of business from Allianz.

Rigby led a management buyout (MBO) of GAB’s UK operations in February, while its forensic engineering unit was acquired by Cunningham Lindsey and its North American account retained by the GAB Group.

Rigby said: “I would describe our 2008 performance as very satisfactory, given that we came off a high in 2007 with the floods and in a market where claims frequency was down.”

GAB posted a number of outstanding items, including a £2.163m pension deficit and around £1.5m from legacy and management charges.

Rigby said the management and legacy charges were a one-off payment left over following the MBO, but the pension deficit remained.

The pension was the firm’s only major liability, however, as GAB emerged debt-free from the MBO.

GAB had a good relationship with the pension trustee management and had no trouble in funding the liability, he added.

GAB is projecting turnover to increase in 2009 from £43.3m to £49.5m, and operating profit to rebound up to £2.89m.

The growth should be fuelled by new building service offerings taken up by clients, continued aviation expansion and the number of large loss assignments increasing.

Rigby said GAB only had a small book of business in subsidence, an area in which rival Cunningham Lindsey made 59 redundancies in August following a weather-related decline in claims.