Miller Fisher Group has posted pre-tax losses of £3.1m in 2000, as it continues to seek new investors.

Chairman Sir Timothy Kitson described the preliminary results released last Friday as disappointing.

However, he said Miller Fisher was “continuing preliminary discussions with potentially interested parties, which may or may not lead to an offer for the group”.

The group made a £2.6m profit in 1999. However, it reported a drop in turnover from £60.8m in 1999 to £59.5m in 2000, of which £48.9m was the combined turnover of the claims management, administration and inspection services.

Before exceptional items and interest, the group made an operating profit in 2000 of £1.1m, down from £6.3m in 1999.

But the sale of Homecare Insurance netted £4.5m, subject to regulatory consent, and there has been strong growth by Miller Farrell in Ireland.

Kitson said Miller Fisher encountered difficulties in the first half of last year, with loss adjusting levels falling well below the board's expectations.

“The difficult trading conditions continued into the start of the second half with a continuation of the low level of claims activity in the UK household market, and a resulting reduction in the number of claims outsourced to loss adjusters,” he said.

“At the back end of the year, the position was reversed, with a substantial increase in the number of claims reported as a result of the storms and widespread flooding.”

At that time, the group also implemented a plan to lower the cost base of its loss adjusting division to match the level of business. Kitson said the benefits of this plan were very apparent at the operational level.