Pre-tax profit hits £4.4m as boss hails performance of marine, non-marine and US divisions

RFIB Holdings has reported a 12% hike in operating revenue to £34m for the year to 30 June 2008, up from £30.4m in 2007. Its pre-tax profit soared 44% to £4.4m, up from £3.1m the previous year.

Patrick Holcroft, chief executive of the Lloyd’s insurance and reinsurance broker, attributed the results to contributions from new teams and organic growth.

Being a private entity also helped, he said.

“We have done well because we are private. We have a deeply enfranchised business owned 65% by management and staff and we know our investor very well. It’s a friendly arrangement.

“We have a clean platform with no debt and we even have a small surplus in our pension scheme, which is unusual in this day and age. That is the foundation of the success we are enjoying.”

The company’s marine, non-marine and North American divisions also performed well, added Holcroft.

“Marine has always been our strongest suit. There is nothing new there, it is just growing faster. Our North American division has done well in profitability and growth. The dark horse was the growth in our non-marine business and this has resulted from acquisitions and individuals on teams over the last year,” he said.

Holcroft did express concern about the prospects for counter-party risk in the future.

But he said he was encouraged by hardening rates and the strengthening of the US dollar.

“In terms of the business itself we have two favourable tailwinds,” he said.

“One is that rates are increasing – strongly in some areas – and I expect that to continue.

The other plus is the US dollar against sterling. Our costs are in sterling and we have a large percentage of our revenue in US dollars, and this is going to help.”

Holcroft added that RFIB would continue to recruit talent and was looking to move out of its London premises. “Our lease comes to an end and we are continuing to hire as well. We are looking at various options and down to three. It’s not a bad time to be negotiating this as we don’t have to go until next year if we don’t want to.”