Watchstone, formerly known as Quindell, narrows losses

Jessica Morris
Follow Jessica
Bringing Hearing To The Children Of Lesotho
Watchstone offers technology solutions to the insurance, automotive and healthcare industries (Source: Getty)

Watchstone's shares rose this morning after it whittled down pre-tax losses in the first half.

The figures

The group's pre-tax losses narrowed to £8.2m in the six months ended 30 June, down from £32.2m a year earlier.

It came as its underlying business revenue rose 11 per cent to £31.9m, inching up from £28.8m in the first half of 2015.

The news helped Watchstone's shares rise as much as 2.7 per cent to 228p per share at the open.

Why it's interesting

Watchstone's chief executive, Indro Mukerjee, said today the stable first half had been essential, "given the history of the company".

Watchstone has been trying to distance itself from Quindell's scandalous past. Its shares rocketed when the company relaunched under its new name in December.

The group has since disposed of its loss-making property services interests and software firm Quintica as it simplifies its operations.

It said today that further disposals could occur over time "if we think this is the right path to take to create shareholder value."

The Serious Fraud Office started an investigation into the company's historic accounting practices in the middle of last year.

Quindell's woes began in April 2014 with a research note from US analyst Gotham City Research, accusing it of having "magical... paper profits".

What Watchstone said

"I am pleased to say that the stability continues and we continue with our work to rebuild the confidence of investors, customers and suppliers regulators and colleagues alike," Richard Rose, non-executive chairman, said in a statement.

"The Serious Fraud Office investigation into historic accounting issues, that pre-date this management team and board, remains on-going and we continue to co-operate fully with it."