Acquisitions helped Nationwide Accident Repair Services (NARS) boost vehicle repair turnover in the six months to June, while charges relating to the sale of its franchised motor trade operations dented the group's bottom line.

A £2.2m charge, relating to the first half sale of the franchised motor trade unit, helped drag profit before tax and non-operating exceptional items down to £700,000 from £3.1m in the first half of 2000. As a result of the disposal and the sale of the group's contract hire business in December, total turnover fell by 45% to £49.1m.

Of the 13% growth in vehicle accident repair operations, acquisitions accounted for 11%.

Chairman Richard Allan said this was excellent, considering the market was down 15% in the first quarter and down 9% in the second quarter.