Direct Line Insurance Group announce a proposed final ordinary dividend of 15.1 pence per share, making a total of 22.7 pence per share, an increase of 2.7% over the 2020 total ordinary dividend, and announcing a £100.0 million share buyback programme. Strong capital position with an adjusted solvency capital ratio of 160%.
Other financial highlights include:
- Direct own brands in-force policies grew 1.0% with growth across Commercial direct (7.5%), Green Flag Rescue (5.8%) and Home (2.3%). Motor direct own brands in-force policies were stable in H2 2021 with a reduction of 1.9% over the year. Direct own brands gross written premium was 0.8% lower and grew 0.7% in H2 2021.
- Operating profit increased to £581.8 million (2020: £522.1 million) driven by an increase in underwriting profit and a strong investment return result. Current-year contribution to operating profit, normalised for weather, was 53% (2020: 65%), in line with the Group's 2021 target of at least 50%.
- Combined operating ratio improved to 90.1% (2020: 91.0%). Normalised for weather, the combined operating ratio was 91.1%, ahead oftheir medium-term target of 93% to 95% and in line with the expectation of between 90% and 92% for 2021 we stated at half year.
- Profit before tax of £446.0 million was £5.4 million lower than 2020 as the increase in operating profit was offset by a £62.1 million increase in restructuring and one-off costs primarily reflecting restructuring of the property portfolio, including the purchase of the Bromley office in early 2021 as previously announced.