AXA reported today that its estimated first half 2002 operating earnings would grow 17% to Euro 1.02 billion compared to first half 2001 operating earnings of Euro 0.88 billion. The Group operating earnings for full year 2001 were Euro 1.53 billion.
Life & Savings operating earnings are estimated to be Euro 0.89 billion, down 2% from first half 2001. France and the United States succeeded in improving their profitability, despite mounting pressure on unit-linked margins at the end of the period, while other operating entities were stable or slightly down.
Property & Casualty operating earnings are estimated to be Euro 0.23 billion, double their first half 2001 level. The Property & Casualty combined ratio is estimated to be 106%, compared to 111% in the first half of 2001 and 112% for the full year 2001. All major operating entities contributed to this significant achievement, as portfolio cleaning measures, rate increases and tighter risk selection, as well as a better claim experience in the first half of 2002, improved the segment loss ratio.
Asset Management and Other Financial Services operating earnings are expected to be flat at Euro 0.18 billion. Alliance Capital operating earnings decreased, as reported in their second quarter earnings release on July 23, while AXA Investment Managers operating earnings grew, owing to increasing average AUM and strong positive net inflows. In addition, AXA Bank Belgium operating earnings were positive in the first half versus a loss last year, as the business is developing. The strong resilience of our Asset Management and Other Financial Services operating results shows that diversification, both geographically and in terms of business lines, is allowing the Group to partially offset difficult market conditions.
International Insurance operating earnings are estimated to be slightly negative in the first half of 2002. This is the result of a conservative approach towards current year loss experience for full year 2002 and of the purchasing of new protections as major property losses often occur in the second half of the year.
Holdings experienced an improvement in operating earnings to Euro -0.25 billion from Euro -0.33 billion in the same period last year, mainly driven by lower interest charges and general expenses.
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