Business

Admiral profit boosted by rising car insurance premiums

  • 24 August 2011
  • From the section Business
Media captionAdmiral's chief operating officer David Stevens says a streamlined business also contributed to the rise in profits

Results from insurance group Admiral have been boosted by rising sales of car insurance and higher premiums.

Pre-tax profits for the first six months of the year came in at £160.6m, up 27% compared with the same period last year.

Total sales rose more than 50% to pass the £1bn mark for a half year for the first time.

The Cardiff-based group also owns brands such as Confused.com, Elephant.co.uk and Diamond.

"The momentum of vehicle growth and price rises from 2010 and Q1 2011 carried us through the first half of 2011, although injury claims and their related costs continue to rise in the UK market," said Admiral's chief executive Henry Engelhardt.

In the first half of 2011 Admiral had 3.15 million customers, up from 2.37 million in the first half of 2010.

But the company's loss ratio has increased significantly. The loss ratio is the amount paid out in claims divided by the amount collected in premiums.

Admiral's loss ratio was 77.5%, up from 67.8% in the same period last year.

The group's shares fell sharply in morning trading, and were down 9% by midday, amid concerns about the rising costs of claims.

A fall in other costs per customer have helped make up for the rising loss ratios.

"As one of the lowest cost providers in a commoditised market we are well placed for a future which is shaping up to be the survival of the fittest," Mr Engelhardt said.

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