France’s AXA Group reported that consolidated revenues for the first quarter rose 1.9% to € 21.1 billion ($19.2 Billion) compared with the prior year period, largely driven by a hefty 24.3 percent rise in international insurance sales which surged by € 691 million ($628 million) to € 2.71 billion ($2.463 billion).
AXA’s announcement, which appeared two days before it was scheduled, indicated that it was close to achieving its goal of reaching profitability in the P/C sector. “Property & Casualty revenues, which represent 24% of total revenues, were euro 5.1 billion [$4.636 billion], up 4.1% from first quarter 2001, benefiting from a strong contribution of France on both personal and commercial lines,” said the company.
Life & Savings revenues, however, which represent 58% of AXA’s total revenues, declined by 2.2% compared with the same period last year to € 12.2 billion ($11.09 billion), while international Insurance revenues, which represent 13% of total revenues, were “driven by higher premium rates and despite selective underwriting.”
“Our primary focus is on operating efficiency while developing the platform that will enable us to fully capture the growth of our businesses,” AXA CEO Henri de Castries stated in the announcement. “The first three months of 2002 have seen the Group focus on the following objectives: (i) obtaining the right price for the right risk and implementing strong tariff increases where necessary, (ii) imposing very selective underwriting practices for insufficiently profitable business (especially commercial lines’ risks in continental Europe), and (iii) maintaining a profitable flow of business in our Life & Savings and Asset Management operations. Our International Insurance business is focusing on controlled and sustainable growth, and is benefiting from a positive turn in the pricing cycle.”
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