Admiral chief Henry Engelhardt: "2013 was the year of the baked potato"


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The Independent Online

Admiral, the UK's second largest car insurer, has announced annual profits climbed  7 per cent for the year to December 2013.

"I think 2013 was the year of the baked potato," said boss Henry Engelhardt. "It was a good, solid year, something on the plate that is appreciated but doesn’t really grab the spotlight. This is a comfort food set of results.

"Why the baked potato? Because the year was solid, but not flashy. We made more money than ever before, we grew customer numbers a little bit, we launched one new overseas business [] but there was no growth surge, there were no claims shocks; we just went about our business."

Prices in the car insurance market have fallen 25 per cent over the past two years yet Admiral still managed to increase its pre-tax profits by 7 per cent to £370 million.

The company said that it was finally reaping the rewards of expansion outside of the UK and now insures 3.7 million vehicles. Profits at its price comparison site, Confused, were also up by £3 million to £21.7 million.

"Our strategy, once again like  a baked potato, is simple: to make measured progress in the UK car insurance market while taking  what we know and do well,  which is internet and telephone delivery of insurance, to create growing, profitable, sustainable businesses outside the UK and in UK Household Insurance," Engelhardt added.

Shares in the company rose almost 6 per cent to 1500p. Admiral paid a final dividend of 50.6p and said that it was handing £10.5 million of shares to 7000 staff.