High premium rates and low claims helped Chaucer announce a healthy increase in profits for 2003. The pre-tax profit increased dramatically from £3m in 2002 to £38.6m. The group also benefited from the merger of Lloyd's Syndicates, 587, 1084, and 1096. Chairman Martin Gilbert described the merger as an important step in the development of the group.

But managing director Ewen Gilmour hinted that this year's growth might not be sustainable. "While we remain optimistic for 2005 we know we can't beat the downward cycle," he said.