South African-based broker Alexander Forbes posted a 40% growth in European revenue, mainly from its UK operations, in its half year figures to the end of September.

In the period covered the company made UK acquisitions worth an initial £51m. It acquired Bradstock's network of ten retail broking offices and its international events insurer Insurex Expo-sure for £12.7m.

It also acquired the employee benefits group Johnstone Douglas and took a 20% stake in National Britannia Group.

Graeme Kerrigan, Alexander Forbes' group chief executive said the integration of acquisitions was progressing according to expectations and that Dick Wood – formerly managing director of the financial services business in South Africa – had been appointed to oversee the UK expansion.

The expansion is being funded with £100m in offshore funds raised through the issue of an exchangeable bond.

Further expansion of the group's financial services and retail client base in the UK is planned with the remaining funds from the bond.

Overall underlying growth in revenue for the group was up by 22% to £131m. Headline earnings a share increased by 23%.