Legal expenses insurer DAS Group posts pre-tax profits for 1999 of £9.9m, excluding unrealised movement in investments.

This is a rise of 5.3% compared to the 1998 figure of £9.4m. Consolidated income for the 1999 year grew by 8.2% to £43.3m compared to £40m the year before.

Managing director, Paul Asplin, said: "The strongest areas for DAS Legal Expenses Insurance during 1999 were in personal non-motor and commercial legal protection.

"It has been increasingly difficult to maintain satisfactory premium levels for motor legal expenses business where many fringe operators continue to be active – these are now primarily credit hire companies."

DAS has invested heavily in its claims handling facility and opened the Motor Claims Centre at Bedwas Parc, South Wales, last July in a bid to improve service.

Its wholly owned subsidiary MLP Legal Protection finally moved into profit, £38,000, after several years of DAS ownership.

Assistance services business experienced a difficult year, recording a pre-tax loss of £651,000

DAS believes that motor competition will decline to some extent during 2000 as credit hire companies experience a reduced level of demand.