Sirius Financial Solutions, the insurance software company, reported £1.9m profit before tax compared to a loss of £281,000 in 2001.

Turnover increased by 30% to £22.7m, from £17.4m in 2001 and the company's recurring revenues were up, at £6.3m compared to £6.1m in the previous year.

The company cut its gearing to zero from 28.1% at the end of last year and increased dividend payments, with a proposed final payment of 1.7p compared to 1.5p in 2001.

Earnings per share was 6p, compared to a loss of 4p in 2001.

Chief executive Stephen Verrall, whose pay was increased to £242,250 last year compared to £189,863 the year before, said: "We embarked upon 2002 with an ambitious vision to achieve exceptional performance in what was already a challenging market.

"In 2002 we grew sales by 31%, driven by market-leading products and a loyal and growing customer base."