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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 March 2008, 10:59 GMT
Profits rise for insurer Admiral
Admiral Insurance office, Swansea
Last year Admiral broke into the FTSE 100
Car insurer Admiral Insurance has said profits rose by almost a quarter in their full-year results.

Pre-tax profits jumped 24% during 2007 and topped 182.1m ($361.5m) compared with 147.3m the previous year.

Swansea and Cardiff-based Admiral owns several insurance brands including Elephant and price comparison website Confused.com.

However the company warned of tougher conditions ahead with the UK insurance cycle turning "with sloth-like speed".

Chief operating officer for Admiral, David Stephen said 2007 went "very well" for the company in both the UK and in abroad, after it had launched operations in both Spain and Germany.

Consumers

But Mr Stephen said increased profits were not only down to expansion in the international markets.

"It's actually down to the core UK business doing very well, growing very nicely.

"The staff in Cardiff and Swansea have done a great job and we've had to employ three or four hundred more during the course of the year to handle the increased volumes," Mr Stephen said.

He added the online price comparison sites Confused.com and Gladiator.co.uk had been a "great success".

Elephant car insurance website
Admiral is also the insurer behind the Elephant brand

Mr Stephen said any crisis in the financial markets had not affected the business as they had "always taken a conservative view on investments".

"So we've been well positioned in the credit crunch, we haven't got anything risky.

"It could have affected us if we'd tried to boost our profits through racy investments but actually the profits through doing our day-to-day business have been good profits," he added.

In December 2007 Admiral Insurance broke into the FTSE 100 Index of top British companies.

At the time, First Minister, Rhodri Morgan, said it was a "real home-grown success story".



SEE ALSO
Profits jump at insurer Admiral
05 Sep 06 |  Business
Admiral workers set for windfall
23 Sep 04 |  Business

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