Quinn-direct reported a pre-tax profit of €69m (£46.5m) for the six-month period to the end of June 2004.

This represented a 33% increase on the €52m (£35m) pre-tax profit for the same period in 2003.

Premium income increased 37% to €245m (£165m), compared to €178m (£120m) for the same period in 2003.

The combined loss ratio for the period - including all costs and excluding investment income - was 73%.

Quinn-direct general manager Kevin Lunney said the company's strong performance was attributable to factors including "a very proactive approach to claims management".