Car insurer Admiral exceeds expectations with 5% rise in profit

| August 25, 2009 | 0 Comments

Car insurance firm Admiral has today exceeded analysts expectations by reporting a 5% increase in half year profits, boosted by a rise in car cover premiums and steady customer growth.

The Cardiff-based insurer posted a pre-tax profit of £105.3 million in the first half of 2009, compared with £100.3 million a year ago. Analysts had expected a profit of £102.7 million.

The increase was partly due to steady growth in UK sales, with customers growing by 17%, resulting in a rise in turnover to £540 million.

Commenting on the results, group chief executive, Henry Engelhardt, said: “Considering the general economic climate and pathetic investment returns this was an outstanding result.”

The group sells insurance under the Admiral, Bell, Diamond and Elephant brands and also owns comparison website

However, profits at fell to £11 million compared with £15.6 million a year ago, partly due to growing competition.

Meanwhile, the company said it would pay an interim dividend of 27.7p - up from 26p this time last year.

Shares in the group have gained around 13% in the last 12 months and closed at 1,072p yesterday, valuing the company at almost £3 billion.

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