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Interim Results

Direct Line Group hikes divi after strong H1

01 August 2017 07:29

Direct Line Insurance Group's operating profits rose by 9.5% to £354.2m after a strong first half.

Gross written premium was up 5% at £1,694.2m and the group declared an interim dividend of 6.8p per share - up 38.8%.

Group chief executive Paul Geddes said: "The Group delivered another strong first half performance, as we continued to focus on giving customers what they want.

"In particular, we are pleased with the continued momentum in our Direct Line brand, which shows that customers value the great service and unique insurance propositions we are offering in both Personal Lines and Commercial Lines.

"Today the Board is rebasing the group's regular dividend upwards to reflect its confidence in the group's earnings and the progress the business has made since the IPO nearly 5 years ago when the group's dividend policy was previously set.

"We aim to grow the regular dividend in line with business growth, which we expect to be in the region of 2% to 3% per annum over the medium term. "The investments we have made and continue to make in our business have delivered value for our customers and shareholders.

"As a result, we reiterate our 93% to 95% combined operating ratio target for 2017 and also extend this ambition over the medium term."

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