AXA UK and Ireland’s underlying earnings grew 33% to £118m at the half-year (H1 2013: £89m)

Combined ratio improved to 98.2% (H1 2013: 98.7) despite two points of weather claims costing £46m, AXA revealed today.

Commercial lines enjoyed 10% revenue growth to £600m as the turnaround since 2011 under commercial head Amanda Blanc continues.

UK direct personal lines returned to growth following an 8% rise in revenue to £200m.

UK and Ireland chief executive Paul Evans said: “I am very pleased that performance across the business continues to improve.

“During the past four years, the transformation of the UK and Ireland business has, through a resolute focus on responding to the needs of customers in each of our target markets, delivered both sustained growth and improved profitability. 

“I remain confident that, despite very competitive market conditions, our businesses are well positioned for profitable growth.”