’We have certainly reduced our exposure to natural catastrophes,’ says chief executive

Axa chief executive Thomas Buberl has said the insurer will continue to make its reinsurance arm an “attractive” business as he downplayed speculation that it could be offloaded.

In July 2023, Reuters reported that Axa was mulling the sale of Axa XL Reinsurance in a bid to reduce its exposure to natural disasters.

According to the publication, the insurer was discussing strategic options for the unit, such as a private sale or stock market listing.

However, during a media call about Axa’s H1 2023 results yesterday (3 August 2023), Buberl said it was “continuing efforts” with its reinsurance arm.

Figures showed premiums decreased by 3% to €1.7bn (£1.46bn) during the period, driven by a reduction in property cat exposure in line with the group’s strategy.

Despite the drop, Buberl said Axa Xl Reinsurance was progressing ”very well” when asked if it would be sold.

”We have certainly reduced, significantly, our exposure to natural catastrophes this year again by 35%, which has led to the fact that Axa XL Reinsurance is performing very well at a combined ratio of about 80% –  it’s something that we haven’t seen for a long time,” he said.

“So we are continuing our efforts in making Axa XL Reinsurance an attractive reinsurance business for all purposes.”

’Robust growth’

During H1 2023, Axa revealed that gross written premiums and other revenues rose by 2% to €55.7bn (£48bn) across the group.

Underlying earnings also stood at €4.1bn (£3.53bn), up by 5% compared to the same period last year.

And in a bid to further drive growth, Axa announced yesterday that it had acquired Ireland-based health insurer Laya.

Buberl said: “Axa delivered another good set of results in the first half of 2023, reflecting the strength of our business model.

”We delivered robust growth in technical lines and achieved an 8% increase in underlying earnings per share and a return on equity of 16.6%.

“We remain focused on executing our strategy, built on two pillars balanced between commercial and retail businesses.”

  • Insurance Times has converted euro amounts into pounds using an exchange rate of $1.17 = £1, which was correct as of 1 August 2023.