France’s AXA Group said in a “pre-release” statement that its net profits for the group rose by 31 percent for the period ended June 1, 2005 to 2.274 billion euros ($2.844 billion), compared to 1.733 billion euros ($2.167 billion) in the same period last year.
IFRS underlying earnings were 1.761 billion ($2.2 billion) for the period, up a very strong 26 percent compared to the 1.398 billion euros ($1.75 billion) in the first half of 2004. Underlying earnings per share were 0.93 euros ($1.16), a 21 percent gain.
Underlying earnings for AXA’s P/C operations rose 21 percent to 695 million euros ($869 million), due, the bulletin said, “to a 1.0 point improvement in the combined ratio to 97.5 percent, together with premium growth, and to a higher investment income supported by strong cash flows. 1H05 continued to benefit from an improved claims frequency in individual motor and a low level of large claims, especially in Property. The main contributors to the P&C improvement were Germany, France, the UK & Ireland and Canada.”
“The combination of continued focus on efficiency improvement, organic growth and opportunistic acquisitions has enabled the Group to deliver another strong performance in the first half of 2005” stated CEO Henri de Castries. “We believe we are well on track to deliver strong double digit earnings growth for the full year 2005 despite the recent weather related events in the US.” However he gave no estimates of AXA’s potential exposure to claims
Further information can be obtained on the Group’s Website at: http://www.axa.com. AXA will announce full results and further comments on September 22.
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