StockMarketWire.com - Insurance company Direct Line Insurance announced a £100 million share buyback programme. The company also reported a fall in annual profit amid major weather-related claims and one-off costs.

For the year ended 31 December 2020, pre-tax profit fell by £58.3 million to £451.4 million as gross written premiums fell 0.7% to £3.18 billion.

Major weather costs increased to £43.0 million from £6.0 million.

The combined operating ratio rose to 90.3% from 86.9% due to a reduction in prior-year reserve releases.

The final dividend proposed of 14.7 pence per share, represented an increase of 2.1%, and the company announced a a share buyback programme of up to £100 million.

'Turning to the year ahead, we feel confident that we can build on the momentum we've created and become a tech and data driven insurance company of the future with our customers at its heart,' the company said.

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