Firm to receive cash from insurers

Accident management firm Helphire has begun to claw back some of the £291m it claims to be owed by insurers.

Debts reduced from £291m at the end of last year, to £279m at the end of the 2009 first quarter, an interim management statement said.

Helphire, which has warned insurers it will chase late payments through the courts, said all billed invoices for the first quarter of this year had been paid, with others outstanding from last year. This compared to about three-quarters in the final quarter of 2008.

The firm also planned to slash its cost base by £10m and dispose of 2,100 vehicles, on top of the 2,000 already announced.

Martin Ward, group managing director, said the company had demonstrated it could implement the changes needed to respond to “very difficult trading conditions”.

The company announced plans in February to axe 150 staff. Last month it pushed forward with a £50m share placing. It has debts of £327m.