The Group performed well in the first quarter of 2020. Revenues were up 4%, once again with growth across all lines of business and geographies, notably supported by a strong pricing environment in P&C Commercial lines.
AXA’s balance sheet remains resilient in these volatile market conditions, with a Solvency II ratio at 182%, and after the repayment of Euro 1.3 billion subordinated debt in April, AXA’s debt gearing was reduced to below 28%.
The Covid-19 crisis has created unprecedented health, economic and financial challenges. AXA’s priority has been to protect the safety of our 160,000 employees and partners and allow them, as well as our distributors, to continue providing undisrupted services to our 108 million customers. Exceptional measures have been implemented to help our most impacted clients, particularly SMEs.
AXA has also leveraged its medical networks and teleconsulting services for its clients while supporting medical responses in the regions in which it operates. We have contributed to solidarity funds to support healthcare professionals, research, affected companies, and economic recovery. AXA has initiated discussions with peers and public authorities to better insure future health risks.
Although Covid-19 related claims notified in March were limited and the precise implications of the crisis remain uncertain at this stage, we believe that the effects of the Covid-19 crisis will have a material impact on our earnings in 2020.
We are confident in our strategy and its execution, and the need for enhanced insurance coverage in our preferred segments confirms our growth potential post-crisis. I would particularly like to express my gratitude to all AXA colleagues and partners for their unwavering commitment during this crisis, and their support as we prepare for a safe and progressive end to global lockdowns.