Insurer Admiral climbed to the top of the FTSE 100 today after its shares jumped 4.6 per cent to 1,534p per share in early afternoon trade.
The Cardiff-based group reported pre-tax profit rose one per cent to £186.1m in the six months to 30 June 2015, from £184.9m during the same period a year earlier. This smashed analysts' expectations of £163m, according to a company-supplied consensus forecast.
"A good start to a challenging year. Profits are up, customer numbers are up, earnings per share is up, the dividend is up … you might say it was a pretty 'up' first half!" Henry Engelhardt, Admiral's chief exec, said.
Read more: Admiral Group chief exec to step down
"The UK business turned in a very solid result helped by positive claims cost development, with modest growth accompanying price increases."
Engelhardt, who has been with the company since it was first created in 1991, will step down from his role next year. Upon the announcement he assured the market that gives him plenty of time for the company to make gains, saying "don't bury me yet, guys!".
Engelhardt often opts for food metaphors to help investors digest the company's performance, describing last year's results as a "baked Alaska" and dubbing 2013 "the year of the baked potato".
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