The chief executive of struggling claims specialist Aquilo has insisted that the company has turned a corner and that 2007 would see its fortunes renewed.
The AIM-list company has seen its share price slump from over 500 pence a year ago to around 35 pence.
It has also failed to turn a profit in the last three years. Its latest full year accounts reported a pre-tax loss of £1.45m in 2005.
Chief executive Clive Nicholls said the company’s share price and results were “not an accurate reflection” of the current state of the company.
“The results are old Aquilo. 2007 will be the opportunity to see the new Aquilo,” Nicholls told Insurance Times.
Nicholls said the company’s refinancing in January, when over £4m was raised, saw two new investors come on board, Artemis and Key IP.
The refinancing from a share placing, new debt and the conversion of an existing convertible loan in the company, was followed by a sharp drop in Aquilo’s share price from over 100 pence to its current level.
But Nicholls played down the fall. “Post-refinancing there was a large volume of share trading, but institutions weren’t selling,” he said.
He could not comment on the reasons for the trading, due to stock market rules.
“After the refinancing we have put the past behind us. [Aquilo’s property claims division] AIR is growing well, and that will come out in the next set of results,” Nicholls said.
He said AIR was crucial to the development of the company. “It is a substantial part of the business and growing.”
Aquilo sold its under-performing motor services division to Nationwide Accident in December to provide investment for the newly-created AIR, which it says has been performing “ahead of expectation”.
Aquilo’s 2006 accounts are due to be filed by the end of July. As Insurance Times went to press, it shares were trading at 38.5 pence.