French insurer AXA reports a dip in revenue and earnings due to the pandemic

Paris, Feb 25 (AFP/APP): French insurer AXA reported Thursday a dip in revenue and earnings due to the pandemic as it suffered a legal defeat over compensating clients for earnings lost due to Covid-19 closures.

The firm said its net profit fell 18 percent to 3.2 billion euros ($3.9 billion). Revenues, meanwhile slid 7.0 percent to 96.7 billion euros. The drop was just 1.0 percent when currency fluctuations are stripped out, however. The company’s chief executive, Thomas Buberl, noted that AXA’s favoured segments for development — property and casualty, and health and protection, “continued to perform well, growing by 3.0 percent in 2020 and accelerating in the fourth quarter” when they grew by 5.0 percent.

He added that AXA’s strategic plan, unveiled in December, is perfectly suited to the post-Covid period. It will put great emphasis on health and life insurance, and includes cost-cutting of 500 million euros. The insurer’s 2020 earnings took a 1.5-billion-euro hit from Covid-19 related claims and higher payouts for natural catastrophes.

Just after the firm announced its results an appeals court ruled that AXA should pay a Marseille restaurant owner for earnings lost due to Covid-19 lockdowns. AXA and other French insurers have argued their policies do not cover lost earnings resulting from orders by authorities.

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