Motor and home insurance commissions rose by 9% for the AA as it grew its customer base to 1,623,000 in 2002 from 1,524,000 in 2001.

A marketing drive based on discounted motor cover for low users of the breakdown service has brought in 6,000 sales since its launch last year.

Following its launch in May 2001, a new insurance product covering parts and labour repairs increased its policy count from 3,000 in December 2001, to 130,000 by December 2002.

Operating profit for AA personal finance - which includes services such as car and personal loans - increased by 11% to £172m from £155m on turnover of 47m, against £40m in 2001.

Overall, the AA reported an operating profit of £23m after exceptional charges and goodwill amortisation, up from £8m the year before.