Admiral employees rewarded as profits rise at car insurer

WORKERS at Britain’s second biggest motor insurer cheered yesterday as Admiral said it would reward 6,500 staff with free shares worth £3,000 each following strong year-end results.

Existing investors will also be pleased as the dividend rose by a fifth to 90.6p a share.

“2012 was Admiral’s 20th and most successful year to date,” said chief executive Henry Engelhardt, who said the next two decades “will make the first 20 seem downright pedestrian for Admiral Group.”

Pre-tax profits at the Cardiff-based company, which also owns price comparison website, rose 15 per cent to £345m.

But analyst Peter Eliot at Berenberg Bank said he believes “the UK motor insurance business is firmly ex-growth” and warned Admiral will struggle to make up the slack with new ventures.