Admiral reports record profits of £ 377million as auto insurance business continues to grow and sales exceed £ 2.1 billion
Insurance giant Admiral reported a record pre-tax profit of £ 377million for 2015, an increase of 6% from the previous year.
The Cardiff-based firm’s turnover exceeded £ 2.1 billion, the second highest figure in the company’s history.
Profit rose 11% in the auto insurance division, the company’s main money-maker which contributed £ 1.7 billion to revenue.
But UK home insurance also saw strong growth and contributed to a profit of £ 1.2million.
The only sour note in the overall positive results was on the price comparison side where there was a loss of £ 21.5million, impacted by the investment in US site compare.com.
Confused.com also saw a decline in pre-tax profits of 21%, from £ 15.8million to £ 12.5million. Sales and profits also saw strong growth in two of its overseas price comparison operations, Rasreator and LeLynx.
As a sign of the maturing of its activities abroad, its Italian activities have posted profits, while its Spanish activities have reached the breakeven point.
These are the last annual results to be published before the resignation of co-founder and CEO Henry Engelhardt in May. He will be replaced by COO and co-founder David Stevens.
Mr Engelhardt said: “I would describe 2015 as: the year of the rough diamond. When the year started, a lot of people thought it was going to be a lump of coal. But no, 2015 was not a year of shattered coal.
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“A lot of good things happened in 2015. The work we have done on the UK business in terms of rate increases ahead of the market and the continued attention to operational details, among other things, has all of them lead to excellent economic results.
“Following the success achieved last year by our Italian company, ConTe, which made another small profit in 2015, the breakeven result (based on the year of subscription) of Admiral Seguros, our Spanish operation , was also a great success. “
The group also paid £ 11million in debt financing fees.
The company also announced that it plans to return an additional £ 150-200million to shareholders over two to three years.
Admiral employs over 8,000 people worldwide, including 6,000 in Wales. All employees are shareholders.
The final dividend payment for 2015 will be £ 175 million, or an annual dividend per share of 114.4 pence.
All employees will receive their second installment of Admiral’s performance share bonus program, worth £ 1,800 per employee and £ 15 million in total. For the year, the stock bonus program is valued at £ 30million, meaning staff receive £ 3,600 of Admiral shares.
Each staff member is rewarded regardless of their rank.
Mr Engelhardt said: “They have deserved it.”