COR improved improved by 1.2 percentage points to 97% - helped by benign weather.

AXA

AXA UK and Ireland’s underlying profits grew 27% to £150m in the first six months of 2015 (H1 2014: £118m).

The insurer’s combined operating ratio improved improved by 1.2 percentage points to 97% (2014: 98.2%), helped by benign weather.

Commercial lines grew by 4% while UK Direct Motor grew by 16%.

AXA UK and Ireland group chief executive Paul Evans said: “I am very pleased with the continued progress across our business in the first half of 2015, with strong revenue growth delivered across all our markets alongside sustained improvements in profitability.

“It is clear that market conditions remain challenging both here in the UK and in Ireland. Whilst premium rates are beginning to increase in motor to reflect the increased car usage and therefore claims frequency that follows an economic recovery, premium rate increases in other products such as home and commercial insurance are held back by increased competition, cheaper reinsurance and the relatively benign weather claims seen over recent years.”

The insurer also announced today that commercial lines and personal intermediary chief executive Amanda Blanc will run the entire AXA UK general insurance business from January next year.

This will bring the personal direct and partnerships, currently run by Yves Masson, under her remit.

Masson will continue to work closely with Blanc during the transition period and on other strategic projects across AXA UK and Ireland.

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