Broker sets £150m target for commercial business.

Swinton is set to acquire two unnamed brokers, which would see its commercial lines book grow by at least £10m.

Chief executive Patrick Smith has set ambitious targets for the broker’s SME arm, Swinton Business, which he said aimed to exceed £150m in gross premium income over the next three years.

Smith said Swinton Business had become the company’s fastest growing division. At the same time, the broker has continued to acquire branch networks and portfolios sold by its competitors, claiming that shops are still the more profitable means of selling personal lines insurance.

“Our commitment to acquiring personal and commercial brokers remains undiminished,” Smith said.

Swinton announced record profits for 2007 with profit increases of 27% to £48.3m and gross premiums increasing by 39% to £665.8m.

The primarily personal lines broker operates a branch network of 476 shops across the UK. But with the launch of Swinton Business in 2005 Swinton spent the following two years building on its experience in the SME sector. It made its first acquisitions in 2007 with the purchase of Rockford, Vectis, and Andinsure.

In April, Swinton acquired £6m GWP broker Lawrences to strengthen the commercial offering. In 2007, the company acquired an additional 42 personal lines brokers.