Motor insurance company Admiral, saw a boost in new UK customers during the first half of 2010, to the tune of 23 per cent. That equaled almost 2.5 million new UK customers choosing their cover, as safety on the road. Foreign sales remain weak, but Admiral emphasizes that most markets outside this country are still in their infancy.
Henry Engelhardt, Admiral chief executive, commented on the outlook of the company, saying: “The UK car insurance business continues to be the driving force behind our success and in the first half of 2010 we shifted up yet another gear. Of course there are challenges; our operations outside the UK and the Confused price comparison business are not as strong.
“In sum we now insure more than 150,000 vehicles outside the UK covering four countries. In the first part of next year we plan to launch an insurance operation in France as the final part of our five-year strategic plan.”
Although Admiral is expanding into home insurance, it will likely take at least a year’s time, Engelhardt thought.
Joy Ferneyhough, analyst at Execution Noble, commented on the industry, saying: “Although this is a sector beating operating performance, Admiral trades at sector high multiples and is close to its own historic high price to earnings ratio. Overall the UK is clearly going great guns but a lot of this is baked into the numbers already and with other moving parts in the group not operating at such full steam, this UK engine needs to be near perfect to make the numbers and justify the valuation.”
Most of the big UK insurers saw profits during the first half of 2010 to meet or exceed industry expectations