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Axa first-half profit climbs 2.3% led by life insurance result
[PARIS] Axa SA, France's biggest insurer, said first-half profit rose 2.3 percent, helped by higher life- insurance premiums.
Net income climbed to 3.08 billion euros (S$4.65 billion) from 3.01 billion euros a year earlier, Paris-based Axa said in a statement on Tuesday. That matched the 3.08 billion-euro average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Axa is benefiting from the dollar's gains, which has increased income in euros from its US unit, which contributes about a fifth of the company's life-insurance earnings. Economic recovery in Europe and this year's rally in stock markets are also helping it attract more client investments.
Axa is "very well placed" to reach its financial targets, Chief Executive Officer Henri de Castries, 60, said in the statement.
The shares rose 26 per cent this year, outpacing an advance of 13 per cent for the 35-member Bloomberg Europe 500 Insurance Index and giving Axa a market value of 59.3 billion euros.
Operating profit rose 12 percent to 3.1 billion euros compared with a estimate of 2.93 billion euros. Profit at the life and savings division, Axa's largest, was 1.9 billion euros, up from 1.7 billion euros a year earlier, it said.