QUINN-direct has announced pre-tax profits for the first six months of this year of €133m, an increase of 8% on the same time in 2006.

Premium income for the same period grew by 25% to €483m, including €15m from QUINN-healthcare, previously BUPA, which it acquired this year.

Underwriting profit dipped however, with a total of €84m for the first six months of this year compared to €88m for the same time last year.

Colin Morgan, QUINN-direct general manager said: "Despite the competitiveness of the insurance market we have continued to increase our market share in Ireland and the UK and are making good progress in our European business.

"QUINN-healthcare is progressing very well and we are positive about the long term prospects for the business.

"However we are very disappointed with the lack of Government action in addressing the State supported dominant and anti-competitive position of the VHI in the Irish health insurance market."