Bloomberg News

Quinn Direct First-Half Profit Rises 38% as Clients Increase

July 26, 2006

Quinn Direct Insurance, a closely held Irish insurer, said first-half profit jumped 38 percent as it added customers and settled claims for less than expected.

Pretax profit rose to 123 million euros ($156 million) from 89 million euros a year earlier, the Cavan, Ireland-based company said today in an e-mailed statement.

Irish insurers are benefiting from annual economic growth that has averaged more than 5 percent over the past five years, fueling demand for car and home insurance, while market reforms have curbed the cost and frequency of claims. Quinn Life is also expanding in the U.K.

The Personal Injuries Assessment Board, or PIAB, an adjudicator created to speed up the processing of claims and cut litigation costs, is having ``limited impact,'' the company said. Only 68 of Quinn Direct's claims were settled via PIAB since July 2004, compared with 1,142 through the normal legal process, it said.

Quinn Direct is part of the Quinn Group, led by Northern Irish millionaire Sean Quinn. The Quinn Group, which also has interests in cement, radiators and glass, had pretax profit of 325 million euros last year on sales of 1.3 billion euros.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian O'Neill in Dublin at bjoneill@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net; Katherine Snyder at ksnyder@bloomberg.net


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