Decision of the Board of Directors in respect of AXA’s dividend proposal for 2019
Following recent communications from the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (“EIOPA”) and the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (“ACPR”), relating to the adoption of a prudent approach towards dividend distributions during the Covid-19 pandemic, AXA’s Board of Directors, at its meeting on June 2nd, decided to reduce its dividend proposal from Euro 1.43 per share to Euro 0.73 per share. This proposal is subject to approval by shareholders at AXA’s Annual General Meeting on June 30, 2020. The dividend is expected to be paid on July 9, 2020 with an ex-dividend date of July 7, 2020.
The Board may consider proposing an additional payment to shareholders in 4Q 2020, up to Euro 0.70 per share*, as an exceptional distribution of reserves, subject to favorable market and regulatory conditions at that time. In the event that the Board decides to propose an additional payment, the proposal would then be subject to approval by shareholders at an adhoc General Meeting.
From the very beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, AXA’s priority has been to act responsibly towards all its stakeholders.
AXA’s first priority has been to help its customers navigate through this crisis and to protect the safety of its employees, including guaranteeing their full employment for the duration of the confinement period. The Group also continues to support its most impacted customers by taking a range of exceptional measures beyond its contractual obligations, and the wider community by participating in national solidarity efforts including contributions to various public funds. Reflecting the strength of the Group’s balance sheet, AXA has fulfilled these undertakings without requesting any government aid.
The Board of Directors’ decision to reduce the proposed dividend demonstrates the same sense of responsibility towards AXA’s institutional and individual shareholders, while adopting a prudent approach in the current environment.
During the meeting, AXA’s management also updated the Board on its current best estimate of the impact on 2020 underlying earnings for the Group from claims related to Covid-19. These estimates add further precision to the indications already provided in the 1Q20 disclosure, notably
- P&C: an overall claims cost of ca. Euro -1.2 billion** post-tax and net of reinsurance. Consistent with indications given in the 1Q20 disclosure, management expects the most material impacts from Business Interruption and Event Cancellation, and to a lesser extent from other lines (e.g. D&O, Liability and Travel), partly offset by reduced claims in some areas, notably from Motor.
- Life and Health: no material deviation has been observed in current claims experience.
- Solidarity measures: an overall impact of ca. Euro -0.3 billion** post-tax. This includes extended health and disability coverage to vulnerable customers, most notably in France.
The estimates provided above are based on management’s current assessment and are subject to change depending on the continued evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic and its related impacts. For investment margin, unit-linked and asset management fees, no estimate is provided as the impact will depend on the evolution of financial market conditions through the remainder of the year.