Goshawk will reduce its involvement in UK property and casualty as the market softens, according to chairman Paul Spencer.

Announcing its preliminary results, Spencer said the group was moving into a "new phase in its development" with increased financial backing from shareholders.

Spencer said major shareholder Phoenix Asset Management had been increasing its ownership of the company since mid-2004 and now had more than a 20% stake in the group.

But Goshawk shareholders will not be getting a dividend pay-out this year as the company strides towards stemming losses.

The group predicted a net loss of $3m (£1.56m) in its preliminary results for the year-end 2004, down from a net loss of $108m (£56m) in 2003.

Chief executive Russell Brooke said the group had been adversely affected by the 2004 hurricane season which was "in excess of normal severity and frequency", costing its Bermuda subsidiary, Rosemont Re, $40m (£21m).

Brooke said the company did not anticipate a huge hurricane season in 2005.