AXA revenues grow thanks to new markets

EUROPEAN insurance giant AXA yesterday said its revenues grew by 1.3 per cent in the first nine months of 2012, driven by improvements in its property and casualty business.

Headline income was €68.4bn (£55bn) for the first nine months of 2012, up from €65.9bn for the same period last year.

However the French firm’s accounts benefited from the depreciation of the euro against other major currencies, boosting the impact of overseas earnings.

Income from its asset management business slumped by 5.7 per cent on a comparable basis but the euro’s weakness means the firm can boast that revenues actually rose by 0.7 per cent to €2.46bn.

“Top line trends for the first nine months of 2012 are overall in line with those observed over the previous quarters. Growth is driven by protection & health and property & casualty, which are less sensitive to financial markets”, said Denis Duverne, AXA’s deputy chief executive.

“Property & casualty revenue growth maintained its momentum in most countries driven by our disciplined underwriting policy, both in terms of rates and selectivity, and higher volumes.”

New business grew by more than 10 per cent in the US and Asia Pacific region, offsetting declines in Northern Europe and the UK.

The company also said its regulatory Solvency I ratio, a measure of financial strength, had risen to more than 220 per cent in September, up from the 207 reported three months ago.