Insurer FBD Holdings has reported profits of €50m for 2018 and said its new business levels were strong despite competitive challenges.

The insurer had reported profits of €49.7m in 2017.

The company said its underwriting profit for the year rose to €63.4m from €44.9m in 2017.

It noted that Storm Emma was the only extreme weather event in 2018, with a net cost after reinsurance recoveries of €6.6m.

FBD Insurance said it is proposing to more than double its dividend to 50 cent per share for the year on the back of its strong results.

The company said its gross written premium for the 12 months to December came to €371.5m, in line with the figure of €372.5m for 2017. 

Fiona Muldoon, FBD's group chief executive, said the company's continued focus on underwriting discipline has delivered "excellent" underwriting profits for 2018.

"In 2019 we are focused on our growth plans as a strong, independent Irish business," the CEO said. 

"While the impact of any Brexit is unwelcome to FBD and to our customers, we are resilient and we will navigate this together with Irish farming and with all other Irish businesses," Ms Muldoon added.