Insurance outsourcing group Miller Fisher has declared interim pre-tax profits of £2.7 million, up 42% on the first six months of last year (£1.9m i 1998).

Group profits increased on the back of rising turnover which jumped 61% to £29.6 m (compared to £18.4 m at June 30, 1998).

Growth was partly fuelled by greater demand for Miller Fisher's claims administration, inspection and investigation services, which grew 62% to £24.7 m.

Miller Fisher chairman Sir Timothy Kitson said the group had won a number of 'very substantial' new contracts for claims services, including the management of Eagle Star's Brighton administration centre, and other partnerships with Lloyds TSB and CGU.

The acquisition of recently-renamed loss adjusting group Pycraft & Arnold last February for £11 m is reflected in the group's half-year balance sheet. The company borrowed £4 m to fund the buy-out.

Kitson said, the integration of the two operations should be completed by the year-end, but had cost more than expected. The merger has cost the parent group £0.25 m in reorganisation and relocation expenses and resulted in the loss of 22 Pycraft & Arnold branches and 130 staff.

However, Miller Fisher finance director Richard Horton said, the group expected to begin reaping £2 m of cost savings from the Pycraft & Arnold acquisition next year.