Pinnacle Insurance increased its gross premiums written by 36% last year to £285m from £201m the year before.

The company, part of global banking group BNP Paribas, specialises in creditor, warranty and special risks business.

It nearly doubled its outward reinsurance premiums to £41m from £22m.

And claims fell, to £73.7m in 2002 from £82.3m the year before.

Pre-tax profit increased to £17.9m from £11.5m the year before.

Deputy chairman Christopher Schwick said: "Despite a significant degree of global uncertainty, including a raft of impending regulation here in the UK, we face the future with great confidence."