UK-based broker, THB Group, is targeting further growth after full year profits soared to £3.8m, reversing a decline in the previous year.

Preliminary results for the year ending 30 April 2006 showed a 47% increase in profit before tax to £3.3m compared to £2.2m in 2005. Operating profits were up 25% to £3.8m.

In 2005 profits were down by 41% on the previous year.

Vic Thompson, group chief executive, said: "City expectation back in December was that THB would achieve a profit of £3.8m [before amortisation]. So, to have beaten that is something we very much wanted to do."

The group profit before amortisation was £4.2m, said Thompson.

He added: "The expectation for the current financial year is to achieve a profit of £4.5m and we want to beat that too."

The group, which has operations in Lloyd's, the provincial retail market and the provincial wholesale sector, also reported a 5% increase in turnover, up from £32.4m in 2005 to £34.1m.

Thompson said the group would continue to concentrate on existing areas of its business and to further invest in systems development and improved client services.

But he did not discount expansion into other areas of the market, adding: "If the right deal came along then we wouldn't be at all shy if the deal made sense."

In recent years the group has been rationalising its general commercial book, selling its Glasgow and Leeds businesses to concentrate on provincial retail operations in Leamington and Nottingham.