US helps Axa profit rise 11%

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Axa, the French insurance company, saw net profit rise 11 per cent to Fr2.26bn (£289m) for the year to the end of December.

The increase was achieved as a result of improved conditions in the sector, particularly a strong rise in life insurance activity in the US. A reduction in overheads also helped. However, Axa was held back by a weak dollar and poor investment returns in France and the UK.

Insurance business contributed Fr1.7bn to net profit, up from Fr1.5bn last year. Of this, life insurance accounted for Fr1.2bn. Axa said investment returns made a net loss of Fr144m, compared with a profit of Fr76m last year.

Profits from French business was Fr519m, down from Fr887m in 1993. Income from the United States grew to Fr607m from Fr71m in 1993. In the UK, insurance profits fell to Fr211m from Ffr278m last year, due to a downturn in non- life business.

Axa said it would focus on its insurance business and seek to reduce exposure to fluctuations in investment returns.