Underlying profit gains escape the net at insurer AXA

Underlying profit gains escape the net at insurer AXA
AXA

Restructuring charges at AXA, one of the world’s leading insurance firms, helped depress net profits in the first half of the year although on an operating basis its performance improved.

Over the first six months of the year net profits slid 14 percent to 2.8 billion euros ($3.3 billion), which was slightly below the average figure forecast by analysts surveyed by financial data firm Factset.

The drop was primarily due to exceptional items, in particular a charge of 340 million euros at its Swiss group life business.

But on an operational basis, profits climbed 4 percent. Corrected for currency effects, the gain rises to 9 percent.

“AXA delivered a very strong operating performance in the first half of 2018, with a six percent increase in underlying earnings per share,” said chief executive Thomas Buberl.

He said this was close to the target the firm set itself in a programme launched in 2016 which aims to reduce reliance on life insurance and develop in the more profitable health and business property damage segments.

Revenues at the health segment rose by 7 percent.

Overall revenues dipped by 1 percent to 53.6 billion euros, although when stripped of currency effects they rose 3 percent.

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