Direct Line’s cost control boosts pre-tax profit

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Britain’s largest motor insurer Direct Line Insurance Group reported an eight per cent rise in first-half profit, helped by tight cost management.

Direct Line, which also offers home, travel and pet insurance, said pre-tax profit rose to £225.1m in the six months ended June 30 from £208.8m a year earlier.

The company, which is a major employer in Yorkshire, declared a total interim dividend of 14.4 pence per share, including a special interim dividend of 10 pence.

Net insurance claims fell three per cent to £1.03bn. Direct Line’s brands include Churchill, Privilege and the Green Flag roadside recovery service.

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