Insurer Direct Line's cost control boosts pretax profit

Fri Aug 1, 2014 2:17am EDT

Aug 1 (Reuters) - Britain's largest motor insurer Direct Line Insurance Group reported an 8 percent rise in first-half profit, helped by tight cost management.

Direct Line, which also offers home, travel and pet insurance, said pretax profit rose to 225.1 million pounds ($379.9 million) in the six months ended June 30 from 208.8 million pounds a year earlier.

The company declared a total interim dividend of 14.4 pence per share, including a special interim dividend of 10 pence.

Net insurance claims fell 3 percent to 1.03 billion pounds. Direct Line's brands include Churchill, Privilege and the Green Flag roadside recovery service. ($1 = 0.5925 British Pounds) (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar and Richa Naidu in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)