Insurance services group Miller Fisher has bounced back from a profit warning earlier this year to post a 21% increase in pre-tax profits in 1999 of £5.2m compared to the year before.

It marks a surprise turn-around for the group, which warned in February that its profits would not meet City expectations.

The group, which includes the loss adjusting operation Miller Pycraft, had blamed the high costs of integrating the loss adjuster Pycraft & Arnold, which it bought in February 1999 for £11m, when it issued the warning. But the group announced that operating profits before exceptional items were up 21% to £6.3m at December 31, 1999, from £5.2m in 1998.

Exceptional items at £2.6m included costs from reorganising Pycraft & Arnold, changing the group's tax domicile status and launching Miller International.

Richard Horton, finance director at Miller Fisher, said: "Our results for 1999 have met market forecasts. We issued a profits warning because our earlier results were lower than City expectations." He added the company has won a "substantial" amount of new business from large UK insurers.

Turnover for Miller Fisher's claims services and administration division grew by more than 50% in 1999, representing strong growth by Miller International and Miller Farrel in Ireland. But the company had processed a lower level of claims than normal for the year's start in the UK, for which he blamed the mild winter weather and the present low point in the claims cycle.

Homecare Insurance contributed increased profits of 66% to the group from developing its mobile telephone insurance business.