Shares in Benfield Group fell sharply this week following the release of interim results that failed to meet analysts’ expectations.

But the group’s new primary broking operation saw its trading losses halve on the back of business gains.

Benfield’s share price plunged over 10% to 274.75p as the broker unveiled pre-tax profits for the first half of the year down by 5.6% to £92.3m.

Revenues fell 3.7% to £242.7m. Softening markets and weakening currency rates were blamed for the downturn at the reinsurance and risk intermediary.

The group’s trading result was £102.0m, down 5.5% from last year. Analyst Numis said the results were below expectations.

But the corporate risk division saw improvements, increasing its first half revenue to £14.2m from £7.6m last year, and halved its trading loss to £4.6m.

The growth was attributed to gains in major marine and energy accounts, growth in aviation, and cost control.

Benfield Group chief executive Grahame Chilton said: “Now we have a whole lot of levers to pull to play with the business.”

Benfield said the corporate risk division would continue to focus on targeting high value accounts and establishing partnerships with customers.