Goshawk Insurance Holdings posted a drop in pre-tax profits to £2.9m in 2000, compared to £6m the year before.

But the company increased gross written premiums by 89% in 2000, and predicts a positive outlook for 2001 through expanding its professional indemnity business.

Goshawk chairman David Hooker said: “The results confirm that the company is keeping its head above water through the worst of the downturn. We have the ability to generate strong returns in a robust market, which is showing every sign of returning.

He added: “Goshawk now has one of the strongest underwriting teams in its corporate history.

“The group has emphasised the importance of leading business in the speciality areas in which it chooses to operate and it is clear that this will allow us to exercise greater control over its profitability.”

Goshawk was originally marine

oriented, but has now shifted its focus to various non-marine classes. The marine side now accounts for just a third of business.