France’s AXA Group announced that its 1st half earnings had reached €1.222 billion ($1.11 billion) a 12.4 percent increase over comparable figures for the year 2000. The company noted that its buyout of the minority shares of AXA Financial in the U.S., and Sun Life in the U.K. had increased its net cash earnings.
The main source of the increases came in the property/casualty sector where earnings rose 55.7 percent to €451 million ($410 million) and asset management. By contrast the company said that a weakening world economy caused a 55 percent drop in net cash earnings from International Insurance, even as gross premium revenues increased.
AXA indicated that it expected the costs from Tuesday’s attacks to be between $300 and $400 million. The company writes very little p/c coverage in the U.S, but could have substantial exposure to life insurance claims through its Equitable Life Assurance subsidiary.
CEO Henri de Castries expressed optimism despite Tuesday’s tragedy and what he described as “turbulent conditions” in the world economy. “September 11 events have added to this turbulence and the challenges that all companies, including AXA must manage through,” stated de Castries. “While uncertainty exists today, we believe our strategy is the right one and our financial strength will allow us to stay focused on the execution of this strategy. The long term drivers of growth remain in place,” he added.
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