Cunningham Lindsey has rejected criticisms that the company's latest results are poor.

Its published results show that pre-tax profits fell to £6m for 2003 compared to £7.4m in 2002 and that revenues dropped from £73.5m to £70.8m.

But Cunningham Lindsey UK chief executive Gerry Loughney said that the company's management accounts showed almost negligible falls from 2002 to 2003 for both pre-tax profit and revenue.

He said that winning the Miller Fisher run-off business in 2002 provided a one-off boost to the figures for that year of account. He added that losing the Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA) account at the beginning of 2003 was a significant loss.

"The Miller Fisher and R&SA impacts meant we revised our targets down in 2003," said Loughney. He added that there were costs in 2003 associated with restructuring, which saw a merger of field forces into specialist insurance services.

Loughney also defended his remuneration package, which increased from £307,000 in 2002 to £421,000 in 2003. Loughney said that his basic salary had been the same since 1998 and his rewards were derived from incentives on achieved profits.

Crawford & Co recently posted a pre-tax loss of £1.25m for the year ended 31 October 2003.