Admiral sales motor ahead but share price is stuck in reverse

SHARES in motor insurer Admiral fell yesterday despite it posting a nine per cent increase in sales.

The Cardiff firm, which owns price comparison website Confused, said first quarter group turnover hit £586m but said there had been “no change in claims trends” compared with the final quarter of 2011, when payouts to customers fell back after a sudden surge over the previous three months.

The number of UK‚Äącars insured by Admiral rose 13 per cent to three million and internationally leapt 83 per cent to 350,000.

“Admiral has made a good start to the year with performance in the first quarter as we had expected. Our business continues to grow and prosper and our expectations for the full year remain positive and unchanged,” said chief executive Henry Engelhardt.

The group, which also trades under the Bell and Elephant brands, is expected to report a pre-tax profit of £322m this year, up eight per cent.

Admiral’s shares have lost a quarter of their value in the last year and closed down 2.9 per cent yesterday to 1,195p.