Pre-tax profits at Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT) rose slightly for the six months to 30 June, 2004.

Before exceptional items and goodwill amortisation, the group reported pre-tax profits of £68.1m, up from £66.1m in the first half of 2003.

Turnover rose 8% for the same period, from £225.1m to £243.1m.

JLT's risk and insurance operations increased revenue by 10% to £202.9m.

But the broker said commercial insurance rates, particularly in property and energy, were continuing to soften.

It said reductions, though less pronounced, were also being seen in liability classes.

It described the market as "more fragile and less stable" than earlier this year, due to competition from new markets without legacy issues.