FTSE 100 OPEN: Admiral floats to top as profits rise

Insurer Admiral was the biggest riser after it reported a 13% increase in pre-tax profits during 2011.

Group pre-tax profit increased by 13% to £299m from £266m in 2010, as customer numbers increased by 22% to 3.36m from 2.75m during the prior year.

The insurer saw its share price rise by 7.1% to 1,114p (at 0817 GMT).

Miner Kazakhmys and Essar Energy both increased by 1.7% to 940p and 103.3p, respectively. B&Q owner Kingfisher climbed 1.4% higher to 278.4p, while Rio Tinto added 1.3% early on, rising to 3,399p.

British American Tobacco was the biggest faller (at 0818 GMT), as share price dropped 2.9% to 3,097.5p.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group and building supplies company CRH both dropped 1.6% to 27.75p and 1,265p, respectively.

Banks Standard Chartered and Lloyds Banking Group both slipped 0.9% lower to 550.5p and 33.86p, respectively.