French multi-national insurance giant AXA reported a 4% rise in first-half earnings today, compared with the same period in 2016, although its life and savings business was hit by a 1% revenue slide, mainly in the mature markets in which it operates.
In the emerging markets in which it operates, however, revenues rose by 5% and underlying earnings leapt 7% compared with the first six months of last year, the company said in its latest earnings statement.
The company has been expanding aggressively into emerging markets in recent years, and selling off businesses in other markets. In May, for example, it announced plans to spin off its US business as a listed entity.
AXA’s life insurance business was a profit driver in the half, helped by sales of unit-linked policies, which posted a 35% jump in pre-tax underlying earnings in the half, compared to 2016’s results.
Health insurance revenues rose 6%, to €6.5bn, “mainly driven by France, Germany, [the] UK and Ireland and Mexico, partly offset by the Gulf region,” the company said.
Among the major transactions that occurred during the six months was the completion of the sale, last month, of the sale of AXA Life Europe Ltd’s offshore investment bonds business to the Life Company Consolidation Group. As reported, this deal was first reported in April 2016, and led to the creation of what is now known as Utmost Wealth Solutions.
Around 3pm Paris time on Thursday, AXA’s shares on the Euronext Paris stock exchange were little changed from their closing price of €25.30 last night, at around €25.25.
AXA chief executive Thomas Buberl said the six month results illustrated “the strength of our fundamentals and the pertinence of our strategic plan, Ambition 2020″.
To read and download the AXA first half results statement on the company’s website, click here.