The UK's largest network DBS has almost tripled its profits in the last tax year freed from the burden of pension review costs which restricted the previous year's results.
Profits before taxation in the year ending March 31 1999 were £7.4m compared with £2.6m the year before after costs are extracted.
But if these exceptional items are included in the calculations, profits actually show a fall from £9.6m in 1997/1998 to £8.2m in 1998/1999.
The profits hit from exceptional items was only £0.8m this year in sharp contrast to £7m in 1998 to cover the cost of the pensions' review.
Turnover was up by 11.7 per cent to £159.4m from £142.7m.
The announcement takes place as takeover talks with Sun America, owned by global insurance giant AIG, are at an advanced stage.