Irish insurer Quinn-direct made a pre-tax profit of £90m in the six-months to

the end of June 2007, an increase of 8% over the first half of 2006.

Written premium increased by 25% to £327m over the same period, including £10m from Quinn-healthcare, a new health insurance business.

Underwriting margins have reduced after six successive years of premium reductions. This has halved the price of motor insurance.

But the company said it was confident of continued growth in market share in Ireland.

Its share of the motor market went from 7.6% in 2000 to 19.4% in 2006.

Quinn-direct claims to be Ireland’s second largest general insurer. It also claims to have been the catalyst for premium reductions.

Quinn-direct’s general manager, Colin Morgan, said Quinn-direct’s UK business continued to develop and he said he expected to achieve further growth in the UK market.

Morgan said: “We are very pleased with the performance of the business so far in 2007.

“Despite the competitive-ness of the insurance market we have continued to increase our market share in Ireland and the UK, and are making good progress in our European business.”