France’s AXA Group released earnings results showing that its total gross revenues in 2002 reached 74.728 billion Euros ($80.7 billion), approximately the same figure it reported for 2001.
The company said, however, that “on a comparable basis (adjusted for scope and currency changes) revenues grew by 4.6% compared to the same period last year.” The reference alludes to the recent sharp rise in the value of the Euro against the dollar – worth roughly 85 cents at the end of 2001, the European common currency has been trading at a value of between $1.07 and $1.09 since the beginning of the year. Leaving out the currency fluctuations AXA’s revenues in 2002 were all around 2001 levels.
Gross revenues (in billions) and percentages from worldwide operations were as follows :
Life & Savings (65%) 48,576 Euros ($52.46)
Property & Casualty (21.4%) 15,968 Euros ($17.25)
International Insurance (7.7 %) 5,753 Euros ($6.21)
Asset Management (4.6%) 3,411 Euros ($3.68)
Other Financial Services (1.4%) 1.020 Euros ($1.10)
“The diversity of our operations both in terms of geography – covering North America, Asia Pacific and Western Europe – and in terms of product offering – Life & Savings, Property & Casualty and Asset Management – has enabled the Group to deliver strong revenue growth throughout 2002 in what has been a very challenging environment” said AXA CEO Henri de Castries in a written statement.
“Whilst demand for unit-linked and mutual fund products has fallen significantly in our major markets in view of the continued decline in equity markets, we have been able to offer our customers a diversified array of investment and savings products. The hardening of premium rates in non-life business has meant that we have been able to increase revenues whilst being more selective in terms of business underwritten. During the fourth quarter of 2002 we maintained a strong pace of growth as demonstrated by the 5% and 8% increase in Life & Savings and Property & Casualty revenues respectively,” he continued.
“Our strategy in 2002 has been to focus on operating results, delivering a strong improvement in our combined ratio, cost savings and good organic growth. This, combined with capital discipline and de-leveraging of the balance sheet has and will continue to improve our financial flexibility. The Group has the right strategy in place which is delivering results and which we will continue to pursue in 2003 and beyond,” de Castries concluded.
The 5.7 percent increase in gross written P/C premiums on a comparable basis was perhaps AXA’s brightest spot last year. While the total figures came out relatively flat the group saw gains in all its European markets, except Germany. The company said the increase resulted from “strong rate increases in all major European countries combined with stricter underwriting.”
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