Nov 1 Britain's largest motor insurer Direct
Line Insurance Group reported a 6 percent rise in
third-quarter operating profit, driven by stable underwriting
profit and higher net investment gains.
Direct Line, spun out of Royal Bank of Scotland in a
787 million pound float last year, said it was too early to
assess claims costs from the St. Jude's Day storm with
certainty, but they were likely to fall within its
fourth-quarter expectation of about 25 million pounds from major
Operating profit from ongoing operations rose to 131.2
million pounds ($210.79 million) in the three months ended Sept.
30, from 123.7 million pounds a year earlier.
"Even after allowing for normal weather losses, our
performance proves we are delivering our self-help agenda and
making good progress towards our strategic targets," Chief
Executive Paul Geddes said in a statement.
Direct Line, whose brands include Churchill, Privilege and
the Green Flag roadside recovery service, said net insurance
claims fell 7.2 percent to 547.7 million pounds.
Net investment gains more than doubled to 14.6 million
pounds in the quarter.
The company said its vehicle-tracking devices would become
increasingly important in the UK motor market and it was
installing about 400 devices each week.
The Financial Times reported on Thursday that Direct
Line was in advanced talks to sell a telematics business to a
private equity house. ()
If it goes ahead with the disposal, Direct Line would retain
other telematics-related interests, including a mobile phone app
it launched in June, FT said.