Direct Line shares rise on positive results

Direct Line Insurance Group has reported third quarter profit before tax of £124.2m, up from £82.4m for the same period last year. Shares climbed on the news. (Release)

For the first nine months of the year, profit was £333.0m compared with £188.9m like-for-like.

Operating profit of £417.8m for the first nine months of the year - a 20.1 per cent from the same period last year. In the third quarter, operating profit stove at £131.2m, a 6.1 per cent increase like-for-like.

The group's telematics products are doing well, with one in five of its under 25 drivers using policies which include the products.

Direct Line says its IT migration from RBS Group - which, until last year, Direct Line was a part of - is going well, and that cost-saving programmes are on target to take the cost base to about £1,000m next year.

Paul Geddes, chief executive of Direct Line Group, said "our performance proves we are delivering our self-help agenda and making good progress towards our strategic targets.

While these results demonstrate our continuing choice to focus on value of business over volume, in Motor we were able to reduce average prices for our customers helped by our own claims efficiencies and the benefits of the recent legal reforms.

The launch of our own data centres, the first stage in the delivery of our IT migration to a stand-alone platform, is an enabler of this plan. Combined with our other major initiatives, we continue to transform our business."