Direct Line Group has published its headline results early, revealing a combined operating ratio drop of 5.7%

Direct Line Group (DLG) said it expects to report operating profit from continuing operations of £610m for the year to December, up from £403.5m in 2016.

Combined operating ratio for the year improved to 92% from 97.7%, the company said in a trading statement ahead of its full year results due on 27 February. 

Gross written premium (GWP) increased to £3.4bn, up £130m on 2016.

Direct Line said its pretax profit will be about £540m, up from £403.5m in 2016.

The improved results reflected a a good year for the insurer in both home and motor, including from prior year reserve releases, lower than expected weather claims and a £57m impairment to IT intangible assets.

Chief executive Paul Geddes said: “I’m proud of the Group’s performance in 2017, as our customers continued to respond positively to the multiple initiatives we have made to improve the business, helping to grow our direct own brand premiums and in-force policies.

”The combination of our operating performance and favourable claims result has delivered financial results ahead of market expectations.”