Insurer FBD Holdings says it has more policies and is charging higher premiums so far this year. 

In an interim management statement this morning, FBD says that while the Irish insurance market has started to benefit from recent growth in economic activity it continued to be a very competitive market in the first three months of 2014.

The company also reports growth of 3% year-to-date and forecasts it will continue to outperform the Irish insurance market for the rest of 2014. 

It forecasts earnings per share growth of between €1.20 and €1.30 this year. 

FBD also said that underwriting expenses and long-term investment return are both in line with expectations.

Historically a farm and rural insurer, FBD says that for the rest of this year it will try to increase penetration in key urban markets, particularly Dublin.