February 27, 2018 / 7:26 AM / a year ago

CORRECTED-Insurer Direct Line to pay special dividend after rise in annual profit (Feb 27)

(In Feb 27 item, corrects FY operating profit percentage rise figure in first paragraph to 51.4 pct from 3.6 pct)

Feb 27 (Reuters) - Britain’s largest motor insurer Direct Line declared a special dividend for 2017 after strong performance in its motor brands, rising premiums and favourable claims helped it post a 51.4 percent rise in full-year operating profit.

The company, whose brands include Churchill, Green Flag and Privilege, said operating profit from continuing operations was 610.9 million pounds ($853.49 million) for the year ended Dec. 31, compared with 403.5 million pounds a year earlier.

Gross written premiums for ongoing operations rose 3.6 percent to 3.39 billion pounds in the period, it said.

Direct Line added it would pay a special dividend of 15 pence, higher than 10 pence it paid last year. ($1 = 0.7158 pounds)

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Rahul B in Bengaluru; Editing by Vyas Mohan

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