Profits at newly listed claims management company National Accident Helpline (NAH) grew by more than £1m last year – despite the banning of referral fees.

Accounts filed with Companies House show the company posted an operating profit of £20.22m in the year ending 31 December, compared with £19.18m the previous year.

The selling of personal injury claims to law firms – a key component of NAH's business plan – was banned by the government in April 2013.

Profits also increased despite turnover falling marginally from £50.8m to £49.1m in 2013.

The Gazette revealed in March that NAH had cut its panel of law firms from more than 100 to just 47 since the referral fee ban.

The company’s accounts also show a major reduction in staff numbers during 2013, with the number of full-time employees dropping from 187 to 115. This reduced staff costs from £5.5m in 2012 to £4.2m by the end of last year.

The accounts show the company received a dividend of £562,947 from its 100% owned subsidiary Lawyers Agency Services Limited. The company also paid dividends totaling £29m to its immediate parent undertaking NAH Group Limited.

The directors' strategic report said they were ‘satisfied’ with the performance. They considered the company faces no significant business or other risks and uncertainties over the short term, and they remained ‘very positive about the company’s short- and longer-term prospects’.

As well as turnover related to income from solicitors, the company also receives commission income relating to the sale of legal expense insurance policies by panel firms.

Since the end of the financial reporting period, NAH Group has been listed on the AIM London stock market. The company was admitted on 29 May and the share price is currently 200.5p.