AXA delivered another year of strong operating performance, with a 7% increase in underlying earnings per share and our highest ever reported net income.
AXA’s underlying earnings and net income both crossed the Euro 6 billion mark for the first time in the company’s history, with all major geographies contributing to this achievement. Our new business value was up 8%. Health was our fastest growing business in 2017, with revenues and earnings growing at 6% and 11% respectively.
In the context of the continued successful delivery of our Ambition 2020 plan and our balance sheet strength, the Board of Directors is proposing a dividend of Euro 1.26 per share, an increase of 9% from last year, which corresponds to a payout ratio of 49%.
In line with our vision to empower people to live a better life, we enhanced our Payer to Partner capabilities with the acquisition of Maestro Health. We continue to lead our industry in the fight against climate change, notably by quadrupling our 2020 green investments commitment.
I would like to thank our customers for their trust, and our teams and distributors for their commitment to our vision, as we strive together towards sustained long-term growth and continued value for all of our stakeholders.