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Axa lifts income 9%

Axa, the French insurance giant, has increased its worldwide premium income by 8.9 per cent to Fr67.8bn (pounds 875m) in the first six months of 1995, despite a 3 per cent fall in business from its UK arm, Equity & Law.

The increase in premium income was mirrored throughout the world - with the exception of Britain, where Axa Equity & Law's annual premium income fell 7 per cent against the same period last year.

But Axa said yesterday that the decline in its UK income was less than that of many other insurers. A spokeswoman for E&L's parent company said: "Like other companies in Britain, we have suffered from the downturn in the market. But the situation for us has not been as bad as for some others. We have reacted by cutting down on some of our operating expenses, worldwide and in the UK."

Axa Equity & Law's single premium income in April, May and June grew 7 per cent compared with the same period of 1994, while annual premiums rose 1 per cent.

Elsewhere, Axa's results for France showed a 6.3 per cent increase in premium income to Fr16.4bn, while the US also contributed an increase in life premium income of 9.5 per cent to Fr18.3bn.0