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Admiral’s Sales Rise 56% on Low-Cost Motor Insurance Demand

Admiral Group Plc, the U.K. car insurer that owns the website, said first-quarter sales rose 56 percent as demand for low-cost car insurance increased.

Revenue climbed to 539 million pounds ($884 million) in the three months to March 31, compared with 345 million pounds a year earlier, the Cardiff, Wales-based firm said today in a statement. The stock climbed 2.1 percent to 1697 pence at the close in London, the most in more than a fortnight, valuing the firm at about 4.6 billion pounds.

“Admiral’s U.K. car insurance business had another great quarter and has continued to benefit from positive market conditions,” Chief Executive Officer Henry Engelhardt said in the statement. “We grew rapidly and were also able to raise premiums.”

Admiral, which has lower costs and better underwriting than rivals such as Aviva Plc and RSA Insurance Group Plc, is seeking to win additional customers by selling cheaper policies to motorists, its main market. Car insurance premiums in the U.K. have risen by a third in the past year as personal injury claims rose, according to the Automobile Association Ltd.

Admiral’s performance so far this year puts it “on track to at least meet analysts’ consensus profit estimates for 2011,” the company said. The number of vehicles insured by Admiral increased 33 percent in the period to 2.9 million.

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