Risk advisory and reinsurance group, Benfield Greig, achieved a 31% rise in pre-tax profits to £29m last year.

Strong growth was achieved in the group's core reinsurance broking business, which grew 11% to 92m in 1999. Non-core broking revenues more than doubled to £3.8m from £1.8m in 1998.

Chief executive, Grahame Chilton, said: "Broking revenues have grown significantly, despite challenging reinsurance market conditions. Each of our operating businesses has made significant progress"

The group has boosted its presence overseas from 14 offices in 1997 to 25 in 1999, establishing new offices in Italy and Canada. It also expanded its activities in the Lloyd's market and led the creation and placement of new insurance for the market's central fund.

However, the group has ended its direct involvement in reinsurance underwriting, with the sale of BRIT Insurance to BRIT Insurance Holdings. Benfield Greig now owns almost 15% of BRIT Insurance Holdings.