Highway optimistic despite fall

Highway has reported a fall in profit before tax to £19.1m from £27.3m last year, although the insurer remained optimistic that it would see increased returns in 2007.

Gross written premiums fell to £241.3m from £253.7m last year, while the company operating ratio rose to 98.9% compared with 96.4% in 2005. The motor insurer said that despite tough market conditions last year, it was looking to increase the amount of business handed over to its insurance company by its retail broking division.