Earnings rise for Direct Line

Suzie Neuwirth

BRITISH insurer Direct Line today announced pre-tax profits of £94m for the first quarter, up £30m from the previous year.

However, gross written premiums fell 4.5 per cent, which the company attributed to competitive market conditions in UK personal lines.

“We continue to make progress towards achieving our financial targets with an increase in our ongoing operating profit of 33 per cent to £107.5m compared to the first quarter of 2012,” said chief executive Paul Geddes.

“The UK market remains competitive, particularly in motor. We made some deliberate choices in the quarter that had the effect of reducing our motor premiums. We believe these choices achieved an appropriate balance between managing risk and protecting value.”