Premium finance provider Aascent has turned in its first profit since it launched in 2002.

The £27,000 after-tax profit for 2004 will be reassuring for brokers who expressed concern when Aascent was late filing its accounts.

This sparked fears all was not well with the business.

But managing director Kevin O'Flanagan said: "The delays were as a result of staff problems. We had two accountants leave in succession."

The company reported a loss of £1.2m in 2003.

O'Flanagan said all trends were up and he expected a stronger result in 2005.

"All the indicators are exceeding business plan targets."

He added: "Our turnover was up over 25% when the market as a whole was down by 15% to 30%."