French-based AXA Group announced that its total consolidated revenues for the year 2001 were € 74.854 Billion ($65.44 billion), a 2.1 percent increase over the group’s 2000 results.
Essentially AXA’s gross income stayed almost flat as revenues from life and savings activities, which account for 65 percent of the group’s total, declined around 1.6 percent to € 48.404 billion ($42.32 billion), as did revenues from asset management activities at €3.73 billion ($3.26 billion). Property/casualty revenues rose 2.4 percent to €15.894 billion ($13.9 billion) and “International insurance” revenues rose a substantial 52.9 percent to €5.706 ($4.98 billion)
“2001 is showing the benefits of our geographical and business diversification,” commented AXA CEO Henri de Castries. “During a difficult year, revenue growth was modest, however, we are clearly seeing some early positive signs of our very focused strategy: innovative product introductions have been very successful and spurred strong growth for Life & Savings all year long in Belgium and the UK, and in the fourth quarter in the US. In Japan, our focus on individual investment & savings and health products is getting early rewards.” He also indicated that the rate increases in the P/C sector, “tighter risk selection and portfolio cleaning measures have enabled our operations to move a big step towards enhancing their profitability.
As was the case for many insurers last year, AXA suffered some heavy claims, notably the destruction of the WTC, which it estimates will ultimately be over $600 million. But as de Castries noted, “This has triggered significantly higher reinstatement premiums, fueling premium growth.” Most analysts, including AXA’s, see that trend continuing for some time, and the company should be in a good position to increase revenues this year.
AXA will not report its earnings figures until next month, but has indicated that it expects them to decline by around 52 percent over 2000 figures to €1.2 billion ($1.05 billion).
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