Throughout the Covid-19 crisis, AXA has been actively fulfilling its role in society, serving its customers and supporting its employees, while contributing to the economic recovery through Euro 700 million investments in SMEs as well as other solidarity measures in France and other countries where the Group operates.
AXA’s revenues were resilient in 2020, down just 1% compared to the previous year, reflecting the relevance of our strategic choices and business mix. Our preferred segments, P&C Commercial lines, Health and Protection, continued to perform well, growing by 3% in 2020 and accelerating in the fourth quarter (+5%).
The Group’s underlying earnings were Euro 4.3 billion in 2020, notably impacted by Euro 1.5 billion of Covid-19 related claims, as previously communicated, and by higher natural catastrophes. We are confident in our earnings outlook and have set a 2020 starting base of Euro 6.3 billion underlying earnings for our 2021 - 2023 strategic plan targets.
AXA’s solvency II ratio at December 31st was 200%, up 20 points from September, and including +13 points from the integration of AXA XL into the Group’s internal model.
After carefully considering the Group’s balance sheet position, cash flows and overall operational performance as well as the continuing uncertainties related to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, the Board of Directors decided to propose a dividend of Euro 1.43 per share.
I would like to thank all AXA colleagues, agents and partners for their unwavering commitment during these challenging times, as well as our clients for their loyalty and trust. Our strategy is aligned with the interests of all our stakeholders and firmly rooted in our purpose - ‘Acting for human progress by protecting what matters’.