LONDON, March 5 (Reuters) - British motor insurer Admiral Group Plc posted higher-than-expected pre-tax earnings growth of 7 percent for 2013, boosted by international expansion and an increase in its number of insured vehicles.
In an annual earnings statement on Wednesday, the FTSE 100 company announced pre-tax profit of 370 million pounds ($617 million) for the 12 months to December 31 2013, slightly ahead of a consensus forecast of 364 million pounds.
"2013 was the year of the baked potato. It was a a good, solid year, something...that is appreciated but doesn't really grab the spotlight. This is a comfort food set of results," said Chief Executive Henry Engelhardt.
Admiral said its vehicle count grew by 4 percent over the year to 3.7 million.
The Cardiff-based firm proposed a final dividend of 50.6 pence per share, bringing the total for the year to 99.5 pence per share, up 10 percent on 2012.