Car insurer Admiral has revealed a £33m hit due to reforms to personal injury compensation and warned that the total impact could be as much as £60m.

The blow was revealed in half-year results of the company, which employs around 1,000 in Newport city centre.

The news follows a recent decision to alter the so-called Ogden discount rate used to calculate compensation paid out for personal injury claims.

Admiral said the total impact could be between £50m and £60m.

Despite the charge, it reported a four per cent rise in profits to £218m over the six months to June 30, with customer numbers rising eight per cent to 6.7 million.

Around 10,000 Admiral staff have landed shares windfalls worth up to £1,800 each as a result of the half-year profits.

The Cardiff-based group announced the bonus as part of its employee share scheme, which comes after workers were handed £3,600 in March after bumper 2018 results.

The group's performance was helped by a turnaround in its UK home insurance business, which swung to a £4.2m profit against losses of £1.9m a year earlier thanks to better weather conditions than a year earlier.

Shares in Admiral lifted four per cent after the interim figures.

But chief executive David Stevens branded the results a 'bit dull'.

He said: "Turnover up mid-single digits, profit up low-single digits. Hardly 'hold the front page'.

"However, for dedicated aficionados who look behind the headlines, there's some reward for reading on - profit growth, even if modest, is more exciting considering the £33 million Ogden headwind."

The company's motor insurance division saw the number of vehicles insured remain flat at 4.3 million, which Mr Stevens said "reflects a consciously reduced competitiveness, as we price rationally in the face of any rising claims costs across the market as a whole".

Motor insurance profits lifted one per cent to £251.7m as premiums rose in line with the wider market, which helped offset the Ogden rate hit.

Lord Chancellor David Gauke announced changes to the scale used to determine the size of payouts for those involved in accidents - amending the rate to minus 0.25 per cent from minus 0.75 per cent - but insurers had been hoping for between zero and one per cent.

The insurance sector had been lobbying for a bigger review of the rate, which was slashed from 2.5 per cent to minus 0.75 per cent in 2016, leading to an outcry in the industry, and a consultation was launched in response.