Quinn Direct Insurance has recorded pre-tax profits of €232m for 2005, up from €153m in 2004. The Cavan-based company said that written premiums increased by 31% to €621m last year, while its operating profits rose from €109m to €119m.

The company said that over the past three years, it has more than doubled its customer base to over 350,000.

Quinn Direct said that it is very happy with the profitability of and prospects for the UK business, which it has recently entered.

The company said its investment portfolio enjoyed a very profitable year as global equity markets had a particularly strong finish to 2005. Its investment gains last year rose to €113m from €44m in 2004.

'2005 has been a hugely significant year for Quinn Direct as we completed ten years of continuous growth since we commenced operations in 1995,' commented the company's general manager, Colin Morgan. 'As we look forward, we remain very confident in our ability to continue to grow market share,' he added.

However, Mr Morgan said that the company has concerns about certain anti-competitive practices which it believes are prevalent in the Irish insurance market. He points out that the three largest insurance brokers in Ireland - Marsh, Coyle-Hamilton and AON - do not offer Quinn Direct products.