Turnover rises 16 per cent to £825m

Admiral has announced record profits of £182.1m, an increase of 24% on the previous year. The group's GWP rose 11%t to £631m.

The insurer's combined operating ratio fell 2% to 85%, while increasing its policy count by 16%t to 1.5 million.

The group's aggregator, Confused.com, reported an increase in profits of £36.7m, up from £23m the previous year. It generated 13 million quotes in 2007, up 43% year on year.

Group chief executive Henry Engelhardt said: "2007 was a good year for the Admiral Group. We continue to grow our UK business and invest in our overseas ventures. We have made great strides towards the creation of an even better future."

“In the UK, our car insurance business grew substantially while we maintained our combined ratio advantage over the market. The UK business also achieved record ancillary income, growing consistently in line with the growth in the policy base.

"Confused has continued to perform very well, considering the influx of aggregator sites. Confused’s market share has declined during 2007, but this has been in a growing market and its quote volumes have held up well. As we’ve previously said, we will spend money to defend this market-leading position but, realistically, 2008 will be a much tougher year within which to grow."

Group chairman Alastair Lyons added: "A highlight of 2007 was admission in December to the FTSE 100, an achievement of which everyone at Admiral can justifiably be proud in slightly over three years since flotation. Over this period, taking dividends and share appreciation together we achieved a 335% total return for shareholders."

The group has paid out total dividends to shareholders worth 43.8p per share, equating to £115m, up 22% on 2006.