Lloyd Thompson, the insurance broker, attempted to put a bad year behind it yesterday with a 15 per cent increase in its interim dividend, despite a 4 per cent drop in profits.
The pre-tax results, at £9.2m, were at the top end of expectations after the company warned of a big drop in investment income towards the end of last year. Analysts said the losses would be recovered in the second half and marked up their full-year forecasts to between £20m and £21m.
Ken Carter, chief executive, said all divisions had brought in new business despite tough competition in the market that was driving down rates. The company had positioned itself for future growth by broadening its geographical base.
Lloyd Thompson's share price has been under pressure over the past year after a profits warning connected to the investment income problem and a £10m writ from Commercial Union, the insurer, over business placed with it by the broker.
Lloyd Thompson is vigorously defending the action.