Direct Line’s first half profits rise

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Direct Line Insurance Group Plc, the UK’s largest motor insurer, said its first-half profit from continuing operations rose nearly 50 per cent, helped by an absence of claims due to major weather events and higher-than-expected reserve releases.

The specialist car insurer, most known for its brands Churchill, Green Flag, NIG and Privilege, said overall motor prices increased by 5.9 per cent in the second quarter of 2015 from a year earlier.

Pretax profit rose to £315m for the half-year ended June 30, from £211.7m a year earlier.