Insurance group FBD Holdings has reported higher pre-tax profits for 2021 after a strong underwriting performance including claims frequency improvements, lower severity of injury claims and benign weather.

FBD said its "strong and robust" pre-tax profits rose to €110m compared to €4.8m in 2020, while its basic earnings per share jumped to 274 cent from 13 cent the previous year.

The company has proposed a dividend of 100 cent per share for the year.

The insurer said the Business Interruption claims judgement in January provided clarity on the main substantive issue of business closure during Covid-19.

"Interim payments of €30m have already been paid to date and despite many delays due to the complexity of the issues, the path is now clearer to finalising payments," FBD said.

The company had confirmed previously that Government subsidies paid to its pub customers with Business Interruption cover have not contributed to 2021 profits.

Average premiums were down 1.3% across the portfolio with private motor insurance premiums down 13.9%, the company said.

FBD also said the introduction of the Personal Injury Guidelines enabled it to reduce premiums for its customers as it reflected expected lower costs for minor injury claims.

FBD said its gross written premium increased to €366.3m in 2021, from €358.2m in 2020, including €3.3m of Covid-19 Commercial rebates.

Excluding rebates, gross written premium is in line with last year, despite reducing average premium.

Net claims incurred reduced by €85.4m to €145.7m with the main change related to an increase in positive prior year reserve development from €23.3m in 2020 to €63.6m in 2021.

The company also said that the Business Interruption claims costs of €54m in 2020 did not recur in 2021.

But these were offset by €13.2m costs for consequential payments after the application of the Central Bank Business Interruption Supervisory Framework to decisions on Business Interruption complaints.

It also noted that there were no significant weather events in 2021, adding that Storm Barra in December was a minor event incurring claims costs of about €4m.

"As we move into the full re-opening of the economy and all restrictions are lifted and as we will see the withdrawal of Government income supports, the real impact on the economy of the pandemic will become clearer, while new opportunities and challenges will arise," FBD's chief executive Tomás Ó Midheach said.

He said the underlying business is strong and in a very solid capital position as it leaves the main impacts of the pandemic behind.

"As we begin another year together, our ambition is to continue to drive value from the business and deliver for all our stakeholders, including our employees and our customers in 2022 and beyond," he added.

Shares in the company moved higher in Dublin trade today.