Admiral Raises Dividend as First-Half Profit Beats Estimates

Admiral Group Plc, the U.K. motor insurer that owns the confused.com website, raised its dividend 8 percent as it posted better-than-expected first-half profit.

Pretax profit climbed 5.6 percent to 181.4 million pounds ($282 million) from the year-earlier period, the Cardiff, Wales-based insurer said today in a statement. That beat the 177.2 million-pound estimate of 14 analysts provided by the company. The interim dividend rose to 48.9 pence a share.

“Any time you can increase profits when competitors are cutting prices you’ve got to be happy,” Chief Executive Officer Henry Engelhardt said in the statement. “We are poised to meet our expectations for the full year.”

Admiral, which insures about 3.6 million vehicles mainly in the U.K., is slowing its growth in its home market as prices fall after reaching an all-time high in 2012. The company, which has gained about 11 percent this year, said first-half profit was helped by “excellent claims experience.”

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