But managing director warns that profits will fall in 2006

Groupama's record 2005 profits will not be repeated next year, its managing director has admitted.

The insurer reported £42m profit for last year, more than double its 2004 performance, and four times its 2003 result.

But François-Xavier Boisseau told Insurance Times he expected 2006 profits to fall "slightly" as current growth trends were "not sustainable".

"At some stage there will be a weather event," he said.

"And we can't expect to have the same level of financial investment as in 2005."

Boisseau said the UK business was expected to produce only 12% return on equity for the group. In 2005 it was 28.9%.

Groupama's overall UK combined ratio improved by more than four points to 95.4%, while total revenues increased by 12.2% to £344.5m.

But the company's healthcare business reported increasing losses with the combined ratio deteriorating by 4.2 points to 112.3%.

Boisseau said the lack of profitability was due to "non-target" scheme business that "no longer formed part of the portfolio".

Healthcare revenues increased by 7.3% and included only one month of revenue from the recently-acquired Clinicare business.

Earlier this year, Boisseau said Groupama would make a "big push" on its healthcare brand in 2006. It would grow its private medical insurance book to over £100m GWP in the next three years.

' Groupama is undergoing a review of its acquisition strategy and has not ruled out purchasing brokers and service providers as well as insurance companies.

Last year, the insurer was given the go ahead from its French parent to begin making acquisitions

Boisseau said: "We are reviewing our strategy to see how we can strengthen our position. We are not ruling anything out."