Software house Policy Master is planning a further acquisition spree this year, on the back of strong results for last year, chief executive Steve Verral announced this week.

Policy Master posts a rise in pre-tax profits of just over £1m in 1999 compared to about £700,000 the previous year.

But turnover surged 47.6% to £16.7m after the software house made three acquisitions

– MediQuote, Media Make, and Insurance Business Solutions.

It also reflects ecommerce revenues and strong sales on Policy Master's Sirius architecture, which were the main reasons for the growth. Operating profit before good will rose 48.5% to £1.6m.

Verrall said: "We will continue to look for further acquisition opportunities, both to consolidate our position in the UK and to grow our presence in the US."

In a separate announcement, chairman John Kimberley also confirmed that Policy Master has entered a joint venture with financial services portal Interactive Investor (Insurance Times 6 April).

Under the terms of the deal, Policy Master will offset a segment of the development revenue that it would normally receive in exchange for share in the profits of the new service.

Kimberley said: "We have been selected to design and build a portal which will offer the consumer online quotations and the ability to buy a wide range of insurance products, including household contents and buildings, term and motor. Policy Master shares in the risk and the gain."