The group’s chief financial officer says it has stopped writing all new insurance business for Russia

Axa’s property and casualty (P&C) revenue was up by 2%, reaching €18bn (£15.40bn), in its trading update for the first quarter of 2022, published yesterday (5 May 2022).

Overall commercial lines revenues were up by 2% to €12.2bn (£10.44bn) with strong growth across most geographies – this was partly offset by Axa XL Re.

In Europe, including the UK, Switzerland, Germany and Belgium, Axa’s commercial lines revenues increased by 6% driven by higher volumes and favourable price effects.

Meanwhile, personal lines revenue rose by 1% to €5.8bn (£4.96), impacted by higher revenues in non-motor across all geographies. However, motor revenues declined by 1% as positive price effects across most geographies were more than offset by lower volumes in Europe.

Alban de Mailly Nesle, Axa’s chief financial officer said: “Axa performed well in the first quarter of 2022, delivering high-quality revenue growth.

“We continue to see strong performance in our technical and fee-based businesses across the group. We delivered this performance amid the uncertainty from rising geopolitical tensions sparked by the war in Ukraine.

”As an organisation with deep European roots, we are profoundly saddened by the tragic situation in Ukraine.

“Axa is fully respecting all applicable international sanctions and has stopped underwriting new insurance business with respect to Russian-owned assets located in Russia.

”While it is too early to provide precise guidance, based on our current assessment and the current scope of the conflict, we currently expect the net underwriting losses from the crisis to be akin to a mid-sized natural catastrophe event.”

He noted that the group remains “strongly focused on disciplined execution”.

Remaining confident

The group has been repositioning its reinsurance portfolio with natural catastrophe exposure already trimmed by 40% across its first quarter’s renewals.

De Mailly Nesle added: “AXA is well positioned against the current uncertain macroeconomic backdrop, with a strong balance sheet including a Solvency II ratio at 224%.

“Our strategic transformation to move away from financial risks is proving particularly relevant in this environment.”

“We remain confident in our ability to execute our strategy, focusing on our core attractive segments, in particular health, protection and P&C insurance where the need for insurance coverage remains strong.”