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Half Year 2020 Earnings

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Aug 6, 2020
published at 7:00 AM CEST
  • Total revenues* down 2% to Euro 52.4 billion
  • Underlying earnings** down 48% to Euro 1.9 billion, or up 1% excl. Covid-19 claims*** and EQH****
  • Covid-19 claims*** estimated 2020 UE** impact confirmed at Euro 1.5 billion and booked in 1H20
  • Solvency II ratio***** at 180%, debt gearing** down to 27.6%, and cash remittance of Euro 4.9 billion
  • No exceptional distribution of reserves in 4Q20 following ACPR’s July 28 communication
Thomas Buberl
Chief Executive Officer of AXA

“In the first half of 2020, AXA demonstrated its resilience in the challenging context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Revenues were down 2%, to Euro 52 billion, reflecting strong growth in the first quarter offset by lower business activity in the second quarter. Growth in Health remained strong throughout the first six months of the year, at +9%, and price increases in P&C Commercial lines continued to accelerate.

The Group’s underlying earnings were Euro 1.9 billion, down 48%, and were up 1% excluding Covid-19 claims*** and the disposal of Equitable Holdings. The impact of Covid-19 on AXA’s earnings was in line with our previously published guidance. Commercial lines were the most impacted, notably at AXA XL. The rest of the Group was resilient, with the impacts from Covid-19 claims largely offset by lower frequency in Motor and growth in Health and Asset Management.

AXA’s Solvency II ratio was resilient at 180%, its debt gearing was reduced by 1.2 points to 27.6%, and cash remittance amounted to Euro 4.9 billion, confirming the strength of the Group’s balance sheet in volatile market conditions.

AXA’s strategic vision and business profile shift are more relevant than ever, notably with its growing and profitable Health business, and an unparalleled opportunity to benefit from the hardening pricing cycle in P&C Commercial lines. With a clear focus on technical risks, the Group is well positioned for a prolonged period of low interest rates.

The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the critical role of insurance in protecting societies and supporting economic recovery. This conviction is encapsulated in our new purpose ‘Acting for human progress by protecting what matters’. As a global insurance leader and investor, the Group continues to take ambitious measures to meet the major challenges of our time, aligning post-Covid recovery strategies with our long-standing commitment to facilitate the green economy transition.

Our people are key to the Group’s performance, and I wish to thank all our employees, agents and partners, for their unwavering commitment to provide support and undisrupted service to our clients during these challenging times.

*Change in gross revenues is on a comparable basis (constant forex, scope and methodology).
**Underlying earnings (“UE”), underlying earnings per share (“UEPS”), underlying combined ratio, adjusted earnings, adjusted return on equity and debt gearing are non-GAAP financial measures, or alternative performance measures (“APMs”). A reconciliation from APMs adjusted earnings, underlying earnings and underlying combined ratio to the most directly reconcilable line item, subtotal or total in the financial statements of the corresponding period is provided on pages 19 and 20 of the Half-Year 2020 Financial Report. APMs adjusted return on equity and underlying earnings per share are reconciled to the financial statements in the table set forth on page 26 of the Half-Year 2020 Financial Report. The calculation methodology of the debt gearing is set out on page 22 of the Half-Year 2020 Financial Report. The above-mentioned and other non-GAAP financial measures used in this press release are defined in the Glossary set forth on pages 60 to 67 of the Half-Year 2020 Financial Report.
***“Covid-19 claims” includes P&C, L&S and Health net claims related to Covid-19, as well as the impacts from solidarity measures and from lower volumes net of expenses, linked to Covid-19. “Covid-19 claims” does not include any financial market impacts (including impacts on investment margin, unit-linked and asset management fees, etc.) relating to the Covid-19 crisis.
****Equitable Holdings Inc. ("EQH") was deconsolidated in AXA's Financial Statements in 2019.
*****The Solvency II ratio is estimated primarily using AXA’s internal model calibrated based on an adverse 1/200 years shock. It also reflects the release of the provision for the 4Q20 exceptional distribution of reserves of Euro 0.70 per share and includes a theoretical amount for dividends accrued for the first six months of 2020, based on the full year dividend of Euro 1.43 per share initially proposed by the Board for FY19. Dividends are proposed by the Board, at its discretion based on a variety of factors described in AXA’s 2019 Universal Registration Document, and then submitted to AXA’s shareholders for approval. This estimate should not be considered in any way to be an indication of the actual dividend amount, if any, for the 2020 financial year. For further information on AXA’s internal model and Solvency II disclosures, please refer to AXA Group’s SFCR as of December 31, 2019, available on AXA’s website (www.axa.com).
In compliance with the decision from AXA’s lead supervisor (the ACPR) from January 1, 2019, entities that were part of the XL Group (“XL entities”) have been fully consolidated for Solvency II purposes (as per the consolidation-based method set forth in the Solvency II Directive) and their contribution to the Group’s solvency capital requirement has been calculated using the Solvency II standard formula. Subject to the prior approval of the ACPR, the Group intends to extend its Internal Model to XL entities as soon as December 31, 2020.

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