Admiral shares hit despite insurer's record profits

Car insurer Admiral struck a record interim profit yesterday '“ but shares fell 8 per cent as it disclosed that the Brexit vote knocked its balance sheet strength, wiping about 20 per cent off its so-called solvency ratio.

Admiral revealed a knock to its balance sheet strength. Picture: Contributed
Admiral revealed a knock to its balance sheet strength. Picture: Contributed

That took the gloss off a 4 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £193 million in the first six months of 2016 as the group – which also owns the Elephant and Diamond brands – added another 217,000 motor customers. Admiral said its UK car insurance profits rose 2 per cent to £222.8m after boosting customer numbers 11 per cent to 3.52 million.

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It revealed further increases in prices, with average written premiums up 3 per cent in the first half. Recently-appointed chief executive David Stevens said: “In the core UK car insurance business, we’ve benefited from an increasingly rational motor market with evidence of a move towards a less violent cycle.”

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Admiral’s shares closed down 173p at 2,081p.