The past year acted as a ‘litmus test’ for the business, said group chief executive, allowing the insurer to demonstrate ‘strong operational resilience and agility’

Admiral Group has reported that its statutory profit before tax has improved by 20% in the 12 months to 31 December, rising from £505.1m in 2019 to £608.2m last year.

Furthermore, its share of profit before tax has also increased by 21%, moving from £526.1m in 2019 to £638.4m in 2020.

These figures form part of the insurer’s full year financial results, published today (4 March 2021).

According to group chief executive Milena Mondini de Focatiis, who replaced Admiral Group co-founder and former chief executive David Stevens after he retired on 31 December, these number are “driven by strong reserve releases and a decrease in claims frequency as people drove less during lockdowns”.

She continued: “2020 was certainly not an ordinary year, but one that I like to think of as a ‘litmus test’ for the business – where, despite the turbulent context, we demonstrated strong operational resilience and agility, we delivered a positive set of financial results, we stayed true to our values and we did what we believed was right for all our stakeholders.”

Positive results

For 2020, Admiral Group recorded a 2% improvement in its group turnover, from £3.46bn to £3.55bn, while group net revenue also grew by 8% to reach £1.31bn for 2020 compared to £1.21bn in 2019.

Group-wide, Admiral’s customer base expanded by 10% to hit 7.66 million – versus 6.98 million in 2019. In the UK specifically, Admiral Group’s customer base grew by 9% to reach 5.98 million compared to 2019’s 5.48 million customer pool.

On this, Mondini de Focatiis added: “Our existing customers chose to stay with us more than ever before and we increased the share of those switching from other insurers to Admiral, resulting in over 650,000 new customers in 2020.

“We gave back to customers through the £110 million ‘Admiral Stay at Home Refund’ in the UK and substantial pricing reductions across our operations and we also supported key workers and our local communities.”

Regarding staff benefits, around 10,000 staff will each receive free shares worth up to £3,600 under Admiral Group’s employee share scheme, based on these full year results.

“Staff [have] remained a priority and we rapidly transitioned to working from home, while also implementing flexible working arrangements and other wellbeing initiatives,” Mondini de Focatiis noted.

Doing the right thing

Commenting on the results, Annette Court, Admiral Group’s chair, said: “Who knew so much could happen in 12 months.

“We have faced the challenges of the global pandemic while ensuring at Admiral we focused on doing the right thing, went through a successful CEO transition and reported another positive set of financial results.

“I’m particularly pleased to mention an improvement of over 5% in customer net promoter scores across our operations and that we were voted 14th best workplace in the world on the annual 25 World’s Best Workplaces list.”

Share dividends, which will be paid on 4 June 2021, amount to 63.6 pence per share plus a special dividend of 22.4 pence per share.