Revenues and profits down but beats analysts expectation

AXA's group net income fell 39% to €1.323bn, in the first six months compared to the same period last year. UK revenue dropped from €1.9bn to €1.292bn.

AXA chairman Henri de Castries said the group performance was 'solid'. Europe's second biggest insurer by market capitalisation said it expected to withstand any further downturn in the market.

Financial highlights (2008 in brackets)

  • Revenues €48,414m (€49,319m)
  • P&C revenues €14,919m (€14,519m)
  • UK & Ireland P&C revenues €2,048m (€2,389m)
  • Underlying earnings €2,116m (€2,830m)
  • Adjusted earnings €1,736m (€3,376m)
  • Net income €1,323m(€2,162m)
  • UK total revenues €1,292m (€1,900m)
  • P&C net income €722m (€1,028m)
  • P&C underlying earnings down 12% to €986m
  • Combined ratio 98% (96.4%)
  • UK & Ireland combined ratio 100.3% (98.2%)

UK in detail

AXA reported a rise in direct UK motor sales, taking revenues up 18%, but declines in UK non-motor personal lines, which fell 6.8%. In commercial insurance, motor was down 7.5% and non-motor down 3%.

Adverse market – a crisis?

Chairman Henri de Castries said: “Our confidence in AXA Group’s strategy is supported by the solid performance recorded during the first half of 2009, as well as the efficiency of the risk management actions undertaken to mitigate the consequences of the crisis.”

“The insurance sector and AXA were not immune to the adverse market environment. However, the Group demonstrated its capacity to act quickly and to take the necessary actions in order to preserve a solid balance sheet, manage business efficiently and maintain the trust of our customers.

Worse to come?

“Going forward, we are prepared to withstand a further possible market downturn and we are well positioned to benefit from a market upturn: we have not stopped investing and focusing on our core business in a market with continuing growth potential.”