Layton Blackham posted a record profit of £2.5m for 2005. This represents a 32% increase on the previous year for the broker.

Turnover increased by 18% to £23.6m, helped substantially by the acquisition of Anchor (UK).

The group's underwriting agency, Elite, saw its premium income grow by 15%.

Chris Blackham, the company's chairman and chief executive, said: "These are excellent results and especially pleasing when you consider 2005 not only saw a continuation of the soft market, but also the first year of regulation with all the additional work and cost this has entailed."

Last week, the broker acquired Worcester-based Cox Hepburn Insurance Services. This boosted its gross written premium to £120m.

The move marked the "next phase" in the broker's long-term strategy, according to Blackham.