AXA 1st Half Operating Profit Rises to $1 Billion

Despite both good and bad news, France’s AXA Group released preliminary estimates showing an operating profit of €1.02 Billion ($1 billion) for the first half of 2002, compared to € 880 million ($867 million) in the same period last year, a 17 percent increase. It will publish the official figures September 2.

The company took an additional charge of € 90 million for potential WTC claims, bringing the total to around $638 million, and wrote down the value of its investment portfolio by € 230 million. However, it also posted offsetting capital gains of € 440 million.

Net income for the period decreased by 32 percent from €1.22 billion in 2001 to 840 million. However, operating earnings from AXA’s p/c units are expected to top €230 million for the first half of 2002, double the figure for the same period last year. The company also said its combined ratio had dropped to 106 percent, compared to 111 percent for the first half of 2001. “All major operating entities contributed to this significant achievement, as portfolio cleaning measures, rate increases and tighter risk selection, as well as a better claim experience in the first half of 2002, improved the segment loss ratio,” said AXA’s bulletin.