Budget Insurance Services has strengthened its West Midlands presence with the acquisition of the company's first branch in central Birmingham.

The addition of Cotteridge Insurance to the company's portfolio puts the firm in line to hit its target of 100,000 new policies by June 2004.

Budget retail director Matthew Donaldson said: "Birmingham is a key focus area for us at the moment. With trading locations in Birmingham and Coventry we are looking to fill the gap in our network in the West Midlands."

Cotteridge is the 13th acquisition for Budget in the past 12 months. It was swiftly followed by the purchase of London brokers, Keedale Insurance.

Donaldson said: "Our remit for the type of businesses we are interested in is quite broad and we are looking to continue the acquisitions."

Budget expects to announce "a string" of further acquisitions before the end of the year.