Rising prices for insurance pushed up AXA's revenues from property and casualty underwriting by 5.7% to E16bn (£10.7bn) last year.

Within the business segment, the UK recorded the strongest revenue growth at 12.6%, up to s 2.75bn (£1.8bn) from €2.48bn (£1.6bn) in 2001.

The French giant dumped badly performing personal lines in the UK and Germany, but made it up on commercial lines.

UK property and liability accounts were singled out for growth.

UK commercial property lines saw price increases of between 12% and 16% and an increase in new accounts.

UK liability prices boomed by between 25% to 45%, but the number of policies was stable.

UK personal motor gross written premiums increased 19% in the period; personal non-motor GWP increased 27%; commercial motor GWP increased 8%; commercial non-motor GWP increased 42% and other GWP increased 3%.

Overall the AXA Group enjoyed a 4.6% increase in its revenues, which totalled s74.7bn (£50bn). Revenue from international insurance increased by 4.6% to s5.8bn (£3.8bn). The French giant made 21.4% of its revenue from property and casualty insurance and 7.7% from international insurance.