Pretax profits for UK car insurer Admiral rose 24% in the first six months of the year to GBP68.7 million, compared to GBP55.6 million for the same period in 2005.

In what represents good news for customers, Admiral also said that it will not be raising its premiums despite rival Norwich Union announcing recently that it would raise its prices by an average of 16%.

Admiral’s chief executive Henry Engelhardt was quoted on the BBC’s online news service as saying: We can understand why Norwich Union has raised its premiums, but we have no immediate plans to increase our premiums. This gives us an opportunity to grow our market share as competitors increase their rates.

Indeed, the company seems already to be increasing its market share as it has gained 10% more customers during the first half of the year. Further expansion of its customer base is likely in the second half of the year in the light of its stable pricing policy.

The company also said that its plans to launch operations in Spain remain on track.