Axa profit rises on asset-management growth, insurance pricing

AXA SA followed a record-breaking year with a better-than-expected first-half profit, boosted by inflows into its asset-management business and price increases for insurance products.

First-half net income rose 3% from a year earlier to 4.1 billion euros (US$4.2 billion), the Paris-based insurer said Wednesday in a statement. That surpassed the average analyst estimate of 3.4 billion euros in a Bloomberg survey.

“We reported strong technical profitability across all businesses, in particular in France and Europe, delivering attractive and consistent performance,” Chief Executive Officer Thomas Buberl said in the statement. The firm produced “resilient results despite the impact of the war in Ukraine.”

The results come despite a difficult macro environment that has seen stock markets fall as inflation surges and the effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine weigh on investors. Insurers are enjoying a rebound after paying pandemic-related claims, with Axa’s earnings last year rising to a record 7.3 billion euros.

Axa’s first-half revenue rose about 1% from a year earlier to 55 billion euros, exceeding the average analyst estimate of 54.2 billion euros. Asset-management revenue climbed 4% to 788 million euros, and net inflows were 14 billion euros.

“These very good results are the result of our strategy and the successful transformation of the group,” Frederic de Courtois, the deputy CEO, said on a call with journalists.

“Favorable price effects” helped drive revenue growth in property & casualty and personal insurance, Axa said in the statement, offsetting a 300 million-euro provisional loss from exposure to Ukraine. Axa had insured planes seized by the Russians, de Courtois said.