By Jemima Kelly
LONDON May 14 British auto insurer Admiral
Group Plc posted a 7 percent drop in turnover in the
first three months of 2014 despite a 6 percent increase in
customers, amid sliding UK car insurance premiums.
In a trading statement on Wednesday, the Cardiff-based
insurance group announced turnover of 514 million pounds ($865
million), down from 551 million pounds for the same period last
Admiral's insurance premiums were down 11 percent
year-on-year, though the number of vehicles it insured in the UK
was up 2 percent to 3.08 million.
"Little has changed since the full year results and our
expectations for 2014 remain positive and unchanged," said Chief
Executive Henry Engelhardt, who had called 2013's results "solid
but not flashy".
Premiums in the highly competitive UK car insurance market
fell by 19 percent in the first three months of 2014 compared
with the same period last year, the lowest since 2009, according
to a recent survey by consultant Towers Watson and Admiral's own
price-comparison website Confused.com.
The FTSE 100 insurance group's other brands include
Elephant, Diamond and Bell.
Admiral was buoyed by overseas growth in the first quarter,
with the number of vehicles it insured abroad up 17 percent at
535,000 and international car insurance turnover up 13 percent
at 54 million pounds.
"Growth outside the UK remains strong and we are happy with
the progress we are making in all our international markets,"
($1 = 0.5939 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Jemima Kelly; Editing by Anjuli Davies and Mark