Axa SA followed up a record-breaking year with a better-than-expected first-half profit, boosted by asset-management inflows and price increases for insurance products.
The Paris-based insurer said in a statement Wednesday that first-half net income increased 3% year on year to 4.1 billion euros ($4.2 billion). In a Bloomberg survey, the average analyst estimate was 3.4 billion euros.
"We reported strong technical profitability across all businesses, particularly in France and Europe, delivering attractive and consistent performance," said CEO Thomas Buberl. Despite the impact of the Ukrainian war, the firm produced "resilient results."
The results come despite a difficult macroeconomic environment in which stock markets have fallen as inflation has risen and the effects of Russia's invasion of Ukraine have weighed on investors. After paying pandemic-related claims, insurers are seeing a rebound, with Axa's earnings last year reaching a record 7.3 billion euros.
Axa's first-half revenue increased by about 1% year on year to 55 billion euros, exceeding the average analyst estimate of 54.2 billion euros. Asset-management revenue increased by 4% to 788 million euros, with net inflows of 14 billion euros.
"These very good results are the result of our strategy and the group's successful transformation," said Frederic de Courtois, deputy CEO, during a conference call with journalists.
Axa said in a statement that "favorable price effects" helped drive revenue growth in property & casualty and personal insurance, offsetting a provisional loss of 300 million euros from exposure to Ukraine. According to de Courtois, Axa had insured planes seized by the Russians.
Axa also announced a share-buyback program worth 1 billion euros.