Benfield Group is seeking acquisitions in the US to build on its property and casualty lines of business.

Benfield chief executive Grahame Chilton said: "We as a company are underweight when it comes to the US. It constitutes two-thirds of the reinsurance broking business and 50% of the total revenue.

"We have shown we can grow organically and have a management team which is savvy and can get the most out of it. But then people said the acquisition of EW Blanch was a stretch too far and we have proved it wasn't."

Chilton said the group had raised $54m from the sale of its warrants holding in Montpelier Re.

Reporting its preliminary results to 31 December 2003, Benfield Group's profit, before exceptional items and tax, increased by 123.6% to £60.6m from £27.1m in 2002. Operating revenue increased by 5.8% to £307.7m from £290.9m during the previous year. The company said 88% of turnover was generated from existing customers.

The group did incur an exceptional charge of £29.4m from last year's initial public offering. He added that the quality of capital and extra capacity generated by Bermuda and Lloyd's would help the company grow over the coming year.