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Admiral Group sees higher H1 profit

Admiral Group PLC reported first-half unaudited consolidated after-tax profit attributable to equity holders of £177.2 million, up from £163.2 million posted in the prior-year period.

EPS rose to 61.5 pence from 57.2 pence. Return on equity fell to 54% from 55%.

The company reported net insurance premium revenue of £323.7 million, an increase from £301.3 million in the prior-year period. Investment return came in at £17.2 million, lower than the £23.3 million logged in the prior-year period.

Net insurance claims stood at £180.2 million, up year-over-year from £164.9 million. The company noted that it saw "slightly higher" overall frequency in the half, a slowdown in the rate of improvement in injury claims frequency and "continuing elevated levels" of inflation in property damage claims costs. Large bodily injury claims costs were also less positive in the half than the same period in 2017, exacerbated by the Ogden discount rate.

The company declared a total interim dividend of 60.0 pence per share, made up of a 40.8 pence-per-share normal dividend and a special dividend of 19.2 pence per share. The total 2018 interim dividend is 7% ahead of the prior period's 56.0 pence per share. It will be paid Oct. 5.

As of June 30, Admiral Group recorded a post-dividend solvency ratio of 196%, down year over year from 214%.