StockMarketWire.com - Insurance company Admiral hiked its dividend 63% after its first-half profit was boosted by a surge in customer numbers and revenue.

Pre-tax profit from continuing operations for the six months through June jumped 76% to £482.2 million, up from £274.4 million.

Revenue rose 9% to £1.75 billion, as customer numbers leapt by 12% to 8.02 million.

Admiral declared an interim dividend of 115p per share, up from 70.5p year-on-year.

'A good strategy is a plus; good execution is a must, especially in times of disruption,' chief executive Milena Mondini de Focatiis said.

'It's been a half year of good execution for Admiral. By and large, we've done the right things more often and a bit earlier than most.'

'This included adjusting pricing ahead of the market in the UK to reflect shifting pandemic-related claims trends and providing more self-service and digital options to our customers.'

'These actions have rewarded us with double digit growth in policy numbers in the UK and in international insurance, whilst operating in very competitive markets. '

'Another highlight of this half year is a notably higher level of profit- driven by positive development of prior years in our UK motor book resulting in increased reserve releases and higher than usual profit commission, as well as lower levels of claims frequency.'

'We also made progress against our long-term strategy, increasing adoption of advanced analytics models and planting new seeds for product diversification.'

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