AXA has announced that underlying earnings crashed by 48% to €1.9bn (£1.7bn) in a “challenging” half-year of trading, with total revenues down by 2% €52bn (£47bn).
The insurer said it still “demonstrated resilience” in the period, with growth in the first quarter offset by lower business activity in the second quarter following the effects of the pandemic.
In its latest trading update, the group said that Covid-19 related claims have now amounted to €1.5bn (£1.35bn), with commercial lines, notably AXA XL, the most impacted in the period.
According to AXA, the rest of the group remained resilient, however, with the impacts from Covid-19 claims “largely offset” by a lower frequency in motor claims, as well as growth in health and asset management.
However, underlying earnings in its property and casualty business were down 72% to €544m (£490m), largely due to Covid-19-related claims that stemmed from business interruption contracts and event cancellations.
Total revenues in its life and savings division fell by 8% to €15.6bn, meanwhile, with 4% growth in the first quarter “more than offset” by a strong decline of 21% in the second quarter in the context of Covid-19.
Thomas Buberl, CEO of AXA, said: ““AXA’s strategic vision and business profile shift are more relevant than ever, notably with its growing and profitable health business, and an unparalleled opportunity to benefit from the hardening pricing cycle in P&C commercial lines.
“With a clear focus on technical risks, the Group is well positioned for a prolonged period of low interest rates.”
He added: “The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the critical role of insurance in protecting societies and supporting economic recovery. This conviction is encapsulated in our new purpose ‘Acting for human progress by protecting what matters’.
“As a global insurance leader and investor, the Group continues to take ambitious measures to meet the major challenges of our time, aligning post-Covid recovery strategies with our long-standing commitment to facilitate the green economy transition.”