Consolidator confirms Snowball to step down from board.

Towergate deputy chairman resigns

Towergate Partnership has grown its gross written premium (GWP) by 11 per cent year on year, according to its 2007 results.

In a statement the broker said that on an annualised basis total group sales - including Towergate Partnership, Broker Network, Paymentshield and Open International, but excluding consolidator vehicle, CCV - stood at £2.1bn.

The company also reported income of £394m, and earnings before interest, tax, director's bonuses, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of £166m.

Towergate Partnership's GWP increased by 11.1 per cent from £1.08bn to £1.2bn, income grew 14.5 per cent from £242.8m to £277.9m, and profits (EBITDA) rose 14.9% from £94.4m to £108.5m.

The news comes as deputy chairman of the group, Patrick Snowball, announced his resignation just one year after joining the company from Aviva.

Towergate said its long term intention was to consolidate its main related companies, Paymentshield and Open International, within the wider Towergate Partnership. The company has put on hold its plans to float the business - the purpose for which Snowball was recruited, it is understood.

Commenting on the results, executive chairman, Peter Cullum, said: “The excellent progress we made in the last year is reflected in the quality of our products, distribution and extended geographical reach.

"Looking to the future, we remain focused on continuing the ambitious growth of Towergate across all our businesses and will continue to supplement strong organic growth with further strategic acquisitions from our existing war chest.”

The company employs 4500 people and made 16 acquisitions last year.

In April 2008 it raised £100 million through the sale of preferred ordinary shares to an investment group led by affiliated investment funds of US hedge fund, Och-Ziff. It is the second capital release since the company was founded a decade ago.

Andy Homer, group chief executive, said: “The results demonstrate the strength of our business model and our focus on driving business development through client retention, organic growth and a carefully considered acquisition strategy.

"We are delighted with the acquisitions of Open International and Broker Network. Both represent key strategic businesses: they will deliver excellent synergies and introduce new customers, markets and distribution opportunities to the Towergate family.

"Despite an uncertain economic backdrop, and a difficult year for the industry, we have once again delivered another set of excellent results and remain confident that our service-oriented approach means we are well positioned to continue this in the year ahead.”