Shares in Axa hit their highest level since 2008 yesterday on the back of strong earnings for 2014, which saw profits jump 12 per cent.
Investors were rewarded with a 17 per cent increase in the dividend, to 0.95 cents per share, which pushed shares to a nearly five per cent in early trading, hitting a six-and-a-half-year high. It later fell back to end up 2.64 per cent at the close to €22 on the Paris Cac 40 stock exchange.
The company recorded growth in all of its sectors, with asset management seeing the largest increase in revenues of four per cent. Overall, revenues increased by one per cent to £67.5bn, while net profits increased 12 per cent to £3.7bn.
Chairman and chief executive Henri de Castries said: “We are well positioned to successfully conclude our ambition Axa plan in 2015.
“As we look ahead, we will continue to diversify our geographical footprint and business mix, as well as further improve our operational efficiency, which should help us perform well even in a low interest rate environment.”