AXA UK earnings up 2% at H1 2009 to £186million

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    In the UK & Ireland, underlying earnings increased by 2% from £183 million in H1 2008 to £186 million in H1 2009 – the result was significantly impacted by a positive exceptional item of £106m in the Life business.

    However, AXA Group reported underlying earnings versus H1 2008 down 26% to €2,116m, Adjusted Earnings down 50% to €1,736m and Net Income down 38% to €1,323m (on a comparable basis).

    • Testing trading conditions remain – half year result benefited from a significant exceptional item in the Life business
    • UK Property and Casualty – some rates hardening in Personal Lines and good revenue growth in Swiftcover but the market remains competitive in Commercial lines
    • Life and Savings – challenging first half for Wealth Management, Corporate Pensions showing resilience and revenue growth in Protection
    • Healthcare – trading performance has been steady despite an increase in lapse rates in UK personal and SME lines aided by strong growth in international business
    • Management action continues to be taken to maximise operational efficiencies and achieve an annualised cost saving of £150m within the next three years*

    Nicolas Moreau, group chief executive of AXA UK, comments:

    “We are continuing to transform AXA UK to operate with increased efficiency and effectiveness and ensure that we come out of the market downturn fitter and stronger.

    “Phase one of our operational transformation began three years ago with the creation of 11 strategic business units to position the product lines closer to the customer.  Phase two prioritised streamlining the support functions.  And in phase three we have undertaken a strategic review of the structure, operations and cost base within our businesses to realign and prepare them for future growth.

    “We have made considerable progress in the last six months. The Insurance business’s focus on driving profitability is starting to show some positive signs; in Healthcare the International business is now performing strongly and the Life and Savings businesses continue to execute successfully their strategy while reviewing their operations to reduce their cost base significantly, which I acknowledge also involves making difficult decisions that impacts on employees.

    “In today’s difficult financial and investment environment I believe that we have all the ingredients to succeed: a clear strategy, a strong brand, improving customer service as well as strong capital management that ensures that AXA UK remains financially strong.”

    Please find below the full report :

    AXA UK – General and Healthcare Insurance (H1 2009 results)

    AXA UK – Life and Savings (H1 2009 results)

    AXA UK – Bluefin – independent distribution businesses (H1 2009 results)

    * : AXA UK annualised cost saving target extended from £80m within three years announced in August 2008 to £150m with additional savings across all businesses but predominantly from the Life business