Bland Bankart's pre-tax profit fell by 16% in 2002 after it was affected by exceptional items. The broker reported a pre-tax profit of £862,000 down from £1,030,000 restated in 2001.

Operating profit was down by 4.7% to £841,000 from £883,000 the year before after taking into account goodwill amortisation of £189,000.

The company said in a statement: "Profits were depressed in 2002 because of several exceptional items, which included a goodwill write-off of £225,000 in respect of a failed venture in Holland and a loss of £122,000 on the sale of a subsidiary .

"In addition, there were exceptional operating charges due to the introduction of the Acturis software system of £230,000.

"Without these exceptional items the profits would show an increase on the previous year."

Turnover increased by 9.4% to £14.9m from £13.6m, as restated for 2001. The company proposed a £200,000 dividend for 2002.

Bland Bankart reported turnover in 2002 of £14.6m in the Insurance Times Top 50 Brokers supplement last year when it was ranked the country's 40th largest broker.