Shares in FTSE 250 insurer Direct Line Group (LON:DLG) were up by 5.33% to 286.40p (as of 15:35 BST) after reporting that gross written premiums for the first quarter grew by 4.7% during the first quarter. Management said that there would be some changes to their planned cost saving programmes due to the effects of COVID, but the company remains committed to reducing its long-term cost base.
CEO Penny James commented: “In these difficult times our focus has been to support our customers, protect our people and do what we can to help the communities we serve. I am grateful to the team for their fantastic response which enabled us to move quickly to home working for almost all our people, except a limited number who are repairing cars for those with essential travel needs. We expect to incur £70 million across a range of measures to offer additional value to our customers with particular focus for those in financial difficulty, to give our people job security and to work with local authorities and charities to target funding towards those supporting the most vulnerable.
“We are a strong business with a clear strategy and operational momentum. We’ve traded well during Q1 and continue to make progress on our strategic transformation. Our solvency position is strong, partly as a result of the difficult decision to cancel our final dividend for 2019 and also because of our resilient business model. Acknowledging the importance of dividends to shareholders we will review our dividend position alongside our half year results and on an ongoing basis once it is possible to have a better understanding of the impact of Covid-19“.