Insurance broker Windsor, which posted pre-tax profits of £1.9 million for the year ending September 30, an increase of 26%, says it is planning a major assault on the internet market in 2000.

The company put the profits increase down to strong performances in its sport and professional indemnity books.

Brokerage and fee income increased by almost three per cent to £12.647m from £12.290m the previous year, while earnings per share increased by 19% to 2.41p. The company reported a three per cent reduction in costs for the 12 months in review, with a further three per cent targeted for next year.

The company's future would take it down the e-commerce route, said Windsor chairman David Lowe, with the launch of a web site in May 2000. Initially it will sell fine arts products but this will be quickly followed by mass market staples such as household and motor products.

"As confidence in the internet grows we anticipate being able to transact a significant proportion of our business on the world wide web," said Lowe. He added that Windsor would grow through acquisition of profitable teams and individuals. "The natural movement of talent within our market is allowing us to carefully select our stars of the future," Lowe said.