Insurer FBD has reaffirmed its guidance of full year operating earnings per share in the range of 145 to 155 cent.

In an interim management statement today, FBD Holdings said its profit after tax for the year to September was in line with expectations, aided by strong investment performance.

The company reported growth in premium income and further market share gains for the months from July to the middle of November, while it also launched a new car insurance product through brokers under the "Clan Insurance" brand.

Its gross written premium rose by over 2% in the first nine months of the year, an improvement on the 0.7% in the first half. 

But FBD warned today of early evidence of rates "hardening" in the market for some lines of business, especially car and business insurance. 

The company also noted a small number of very large accident and liability claims in the early months of this year. "The number of such claims is random and will be very volatile, especially over a short period, but will revert to norm over time," FBD said.

It said that while reversion to normal levels began in the second half, the group has seen a further small number of such claims, and it warned that the full year experience of these claims is likely to be ahead of historic norms.

"On the assumption that large claims revert to norm and barring exceptional weather events during the remainder of the year, the group reaffirms previous guidance for full year operating earnings per share in the range of 145 to 155 cent," the company said.

In today's trading statement, the company said that it is well positioned to deliver profitable growth and "superior returns" to shareholders in the future.