Insurance group FBD Holdings has reported a sharp decline in pre-tax profit during the first six months of the year, down 82.8% to €3.27m.

The company blamed the results on the increased cost of claims relating to bad weather, while there was also an increase in the number of car insurance claims during the period.

Around €44.3m was spent by the group on 9,000 claims relating to last winter’s storms, while mid-February’s Storm Darwin is likely to cost the company €30.4m in claims.

These weather-related costs are the highest in FBD’s history, according to the group.

In its results the company did report a rise in the value of its gross written premiums during the six months, however, up 5.1% to €184.86m.

It also predicted growth in the Irish insurance market this year following eleven years of decline.

FBD maintained its earnings forecast in the 70-80c per share range, subject to there being no more “exceptional weather events” during the year.