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French insurer AXA reports H1 profit in line with forecast

[PARIS] AXA, Europe's second-biggest insurer, reported lower first-half net profits that nevertheless met market forecasts, as its earnings were impacted by charges related to the initial public offering of its US unit during the period.

Net profit fell 14.4 per cent from a year ago to 2.8 billion euros (S$4.5 billion), in-line with the average forecast of four analysts polled by Inquiry Financial on behalf of Reuters.

Paris-based AXA booked an exceptional charge worth 361 million euros, mainly related to the initial public offering, and booked another 346 million euro charge as it adjusted the market value of its assets.

AXA, which is Europe's second-biggest insurer behind Allianz , updated its debt reduction target to a debt gearing ratio of between 25-28 per cent by 2020, compared to a prior target of below 28 per cent.


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