Towergate Partnership saw its profits soar in the first half of 2007 as its sales surpassed £700m.

The consolidator giant reported earnings up 37% year on year to £67m in the six months to 30 June 2007, while income rose by over 32% to £161m.

Total sales in terms of gross written premiums were £709m compared to £542m in the first half of 2006.

Towergate chairman Peter Cullum said: “We currently have an exceedingly strong acquisition pipeline, with the widest imaginable range of types and sizes of companies.”

He attributed the growth of the business to the bedding in of acquisitions last year. He said: “This highlights the positive impact of our 2006 acquisitions as they continue to settle in and realise the benefits derived from our efficiencies of scale and our overall business model.”

Cullum said the company was continuing to maintain tight control of operating expenses, and added that its underwriting division’s transformation into a ‘virtual insurer’ was “complete in most areas”.

The results came as the company acquired the UK’s largest general aviation broker, Hayward Aviation, its ninth acquisition of the year.

With £75m premium under its control, Hayward is by far Towergate’s largest addition in 2007. Its previous eight acquisitions totalled just £43m, with Scottish broker JW Group leading the pack at £19m.

Towergate chief executive Andy Homer said that the move signalled the company’s intent to pursue business in the burgeoning ultra high net worth sector.

Hayward specialises in schemes for private aircraft and helicopters.

Homer said: “This move demonstrates our growing interest in niche lines of business. In that sense, private aviation is a very attractive option.”

He added the intention was to grow the Hayward business, but did not rule out further acquisitions of aviation brokers .

‘ In a related development, Paymentshield , part of Towergate, has acquired Best Insurance, part of British Insurance. Best provides mortgage payment protection insurance, and controls £10m GWP.