Groupama is aiming to grow its £60m SME book by 10% to 15% next year. It hopes to do this by capitalising on its electronic trading capability.

Groupama director of SME and non-motor Phil Bird said: "We expect to see further strong growth in open market SME commercial combined and package business next year, with growth of between 10% and 15%."

Bird put the growth down to the company's distribution strategy and its development of electronic trading capability.

He also backed the electronic commercial trading platform imarket, saying he thought the system would be one of the key trading mechanisms for the future.

He said: "The reasons for growth are down to the distribution strategy and the developing relationship we have with brokers, which we need to continue developing to switch brokers on to what we are doing."

Bird warned the market that while the SME market was good, it would require discipline to stay that way.

He said: "We have come through a very good year in terms of pricing but we are only just getting to the profit zone and we need to maintain that and not go down the cycle.

"There is some evidence of new business being discounted but we need to take care we do not go down that road."