UK motor insurance specialist Highway Insurance has revealed that 2005 delivered 'solid' growth for the company, but warned that toughening conditions would reign in its ambitions for 2006.

For fiscal 2005, Highway achieved an increase in profit before tax from GBP21.2 million to GBP27.3 million. Meanwhile premium revenue improved from GBP225.6 million to GBP242.9 million.

The company also experienced a positive trend in its key performance indicating ratios, as its operating ratio improved 1.2 percentage points to 96.3%, while its expenses ratio fell to 20% from 20.9%.

However, due to an increasingly competitive market environment, Highway said it was not looking to achieve further growth in 2006, instead it would settle for consolidation and retention of market share.

Ross Dunlop, Highway’s executive chairman said: I am pleased with another solid improvement in Highway’s performance. We have retained underwriting discipline in a competitive motor insurance market; we have successfully grown our broking operations and have outperformed with our investment fund.

Our aim in 2006 is to hold our position, to develop further distribution skills in our broking business, and a closer alignment with our underwriting operation. As always we shall look to enhance management systems and make the operations more efficient. I am confident that we can achieve these objectives in the coming year, building a better quality business, and generating value for shareholders.