The UK’s Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) has published its annual review and resource accounts 2005-06, showing it provided £2.23bn of support to UK exporters and UK investors winning business overseas.

The report showed that the UK’s official export credit agency issued 151 guarantees and insurance policies to help British companies compete in overseas markets, compared to 113 in the previous financial year.

ECGD’s support for Airbus remained a significant part of the department’s business. In 2005-06, ECGD supported the sale of 86 Airbus aircraft by providing guarantees worth £1bn, compared to 54 aircraft worth £593mn the year before.

The oil, gas and petrochemicals business and the telecoms sector also continued to be a major source of business, with Brazil, Russia and Philippines among the most significant markets.

ECGD earned £88mn of premium and recorded a net operating income of £1.7bn, compared to £45mn and £1.1bn respectively in the previous financial year.

ECGD chief executive Patrick Crawford says: “We have made significant progress this year financially, in reorganising our business and most importantly in addressing the needs of exporters.

“The value of guarantees and insurance policies was up 12%, while money we recovered from claims we had previously paid to exporters went up 48% to £1.8bn. As a result, ECGD’s cumulative cash position moved into surplus for the first time since 1982-83.

“We have also completed an ambitious cost-reduction programme, involving the closure of our main Cardiff office, the establishment of a new finance division in London and a reduction in staff numbers.

“These were difficult but necessary measures, and I am pleased that the process was completed without the need for compulsory redundancies.”