Credit insurer Coface made pre-tax profits of £70m for the 2000 financial year, up 24% on 1999's figure of £56.6m. Sales for the period were up 14.6% year-on-year to £520m.

Francois David, Coface's group president and managing director, said the results were testimony to the group's capacity to anticipate and adapt to the new needs of global commerce.

Coface's rating system for companies @rating is now up and running and David said: “@rating enhances the Coface renown and buttresses its traditional business.”

The group forecast solid gains on sales and net profits for the year ahead.