Culver Holdings reported a £9m pre-tax loss last year despite a turnaround in the performance of its insurance operations.

Its insurance arm, which comprises broking and IFA business, reported an operating profit of £171,000 against a loss of £245,000 in 2001.

Insurance turnover increased to £2.7m from £2.2m.

Culver Insurance Brokers bought Budget Group's commercial book of business for £205,000 in February.

The group was pushed into the red by charges including a £251,000 loss in its technology business Wanbase and £458,000 of investment write-downs.

It was forced to reserve against pension mis-selling by an IFA subsidiary estimated at £718,000, of which £414,000 is insured.

Group revenue increased to £2.8m from £2.2m in 2001.

It booked £766,000 for selling subsidiaries, including its loss making news business, Wire2.