BCWA Healthcare has recorded the best financial results in its 65-year history, with a surplus before tax of £7m for 2000.

This compares to a pre-tax surplus of £1.5m for 1999.

Earned premiums increased by 15% to a record total of £52.5m (£45.8m in 1999), while claims incurred were £42.9m (£39.6m).

Chairman Peter James of the Bristol-based mutual organisation said the increase reflected improved investment returns and a growing membership.

“Membership growth was greatly assisted by extremely good rates of business retention, undoubtedly due to the competitiveness of our product range and the quality of the service provided by our staff.”

BCWA said that it had largely shunned investment in new technology stocks, preferring instead to keep its money in “old economy” companies.