Insurance company Direct Line Group has reported an increase of 4.2% to £810m ($1bn) in gross written premium for its ongoing operations for the first quarter of 2017, compared to the first three months of the year prior.

The figures were revealed in the Group's stock trading update report released on Wednesday (3 May).

Investment income has been reported as being in line with expectations at £42m, thereby remaining on track to achieving a yield of 2.4%.

The report has allowed Direct Line to proceed with maintaining the Combined Operating Ratio (COR) target within the 93% to 95% range for 2017. COR compares the generated net premium with the amount of claims cost, commission and expenses.

"Overall, I am pleased with the positive start we have made to the year, continuing the momentum we built in 2016 and supported by continued strong growth in the Direct Line brand," Paul Geddes, CEO of Direct Line Group, said.

"We have delivered particularly strong results in Motor and this performance has more than offset the challenging home market."

The Group had registered a pre-tax profit of £353m in its 2016 annual report.

Direct Line Group's brands include Churchill, Green Flag and Privilege.