Admiral Group Plc has released its financial results for the first half of 2021, and the figures are mostly positive for the Cardiff-headquartered insurer.
Group profit before tax from continuing operations grew 76% to £482.2 million. Of this, UK insurance contributed £543.5 million. International insurance and Admiral loans, on the other hand, posted losses worth £0.9 million and £1.9 million, respectively.
Including discontinued operations and gain on disposal, Admiral’s group pre-tax profit stood at £897.9 million. The sum translates to a 214% rise from last year’s half-year result. Additionally, operating profit from continuing operations rose from £280.6 million previously to £488.1 million this time around.
“A good strategy is a plus; good execution is a must, especially in times of disruption,” asserted group chief executive Milena Mondini de Focatiis. “It’s been a half year of good execution for Admiral. By and large, we’ve done the right things more often and a bit earlier than most.”
The CEO, who thanked customers for their continued trust, noted: “This included adjusting pricing ahead of the market in the UK to reflect shifting pandemic-related claims trends and providing more self-service and digital options to our customers. These actions have rewarded us with double-digit growth in policy numbers in the UK and in international insurance, while operating in very competitive markets.”
“Another highlight of this half year is a notably higher level of profit – driven by positive development of prior years in our UK motor book, resulting in increased reserve releases and higher-than-usual profit commission, as well as lower levels of claims frequency.”
Meanwhile Admiral’s board declared an interim dividend of 115 pence per share (consisting of 87.9 pence normal dividend and a special dividend of 27.1 pence), plus a further special dividend of 46 pence reflecting the first payment of the phased return to shareholders of the sale proceeds from the Penguin Portals deal. That means the total interim dividend will be 161 pence, payable on October 01.
“I am delighted that we can once again pay a record dividend (which includes a part of the proceeds from the sale our comparison businesses) to our shareholders, including our staff who continued to work hard to provide great service to our customers,” added the Admiral boss, who also highlighted their progress against the long-term strategy of increasing advanced analytics models adoption and “planting new seeds” for product diversification.
Based on the interim 2021 results, around 10,000 Admiral colleagues will each receive an award worth up to £1,800 under the company’s employee share scheme.