High street broker House Hammond (HHH) is expanding its commercial lines business and aims to triple income in the area by 2004.

The Norwich Union subsidiary has identified an opportunity to become a strong player in the small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector. It plans to increase HHH Business Insurance's annual premium income from £27m to £80m by the end of 2004 and to add another eight regional commercial centres to its four existing operations.

HHH's director of marketing and business insurance, Bob Screen, said: "We will get those through a series of major strategic acquisitions and some organic growth as well. We're currently talking to four or five well respected regional commercial businesses around the UK."

HHH has poached Paul Williams, formerly a commercial manager with Endsleigh Insurance, to head up the expanding division.

Screen said announcements on some of the intended acquisitions, which will be funded from HHH's own resources, could be expected within the next few months.