Good weather helps Aviva Ireland's profits

Motor insurance claims, however, have been a challenge so far this year...

Aviva Ireland had a strong half year, reporting operating profits of €43m for the first six months of 2016.

This marked a 7% increase over the €40m posted for the same period in 2015.

The value of new life and pensions business jumped 58% to €14.9m.

The health insurance company cited "benign weather" as the reason for a better than expected performance in its personal and commercial property sector.

Hugh Hessing, CEO of Aviva Ireland said:

“Today’s results show that Aviva Ireland is delivering on its strategy of sustainable growth while offering competitively priced insurance cover to its customers. Profit across the businesses was up by 7% to €43m.

"In our general insurance business, we grew our gross written premium by 24%.

"Our combined operating ratio, our key measure for profitability in general insurance, is 90.0%, three and a half percentage points better than the same period last year.

"Profit, at €25.5m is up from €23m in HY2015. This improvement is driven by an increase in customer numbers supported by a pricing strategy that delivers insurance cover at a price that is competitive and sustainable."

Hessing noted, however, that claims' costs continue to be a serious challenge in the personal motor market.

He said:

"We remain steadfast in our policy of defending our business against all cases of suspected fraud in the interests of our customers.

"Our results show that our strategy is working. Our business is reaping the benefits of the actions we have taken to secure sustainable growth.

"We have embarked on a number of programmes to simplify our business for our customers. We are well placed to achieve our ambitions for growth over the coming years."