Forget awards season, it’s results season in the insurance market – and now it is AXA UK & Ireland’s turn to take centre-stage.
The firm has revealed its full-year 2017 results this morning and has pointed to a strong performance “in its preferred segments of health and commercial lines.”
Overall, UK and Ireland revenues climbed from £4.39 billion in 2016 to £4.53 billion last year, with its combined operating ratio improving from 97.7% to 96.3%. Its underlying earnings however, slipped slightly from £263 million during 2016 to £245 million this time around.
“These are a really strong set of results which reaffirm the benefits of our commitment to a diversified book of business,” said group CEO AXA UK & Ireland, Amanda Blanc.
“The industry was subjected to a host of external pressures in 2017, however these results show that AXA UK & Ireland is a business that can deliver stability and profitable growth within a volatile environment. Much of that is down to a consistency of approach with brokers and customers but also due to a model that accommodates a range of lifestyles, businesses and personal requirements.”
So, what about those strong performers? Its health revenues leapt from £1.49 billion to £1.55 billion, while commercial lines revenues in general insurance increased from £1.26 billion to £1.34 billion. Personal lines revenues, meanwhile, remained flat at £1.64 billion.
“We have grown in commercial lines by continuing to build our SME book, by making further inroads into the mid-market space and by launching a new schemes proposition,” continued Blanc. “In health, subscriber numbers grew across all segments (including UK individual) through a focus on our core proposition and continuous innovation in the products and services we provide.
“It is clear that our strategy to shift from being a payer of claims to a partner to our customers is the right one and is paying dividends in growth, profitability and market reach. This is supported by our commitment to seek out the best disruptive partners to ensure we satisfy evolving and future customer demand.”
Blanc however, did note that the company remains “vigilant to external pressures” particularly on the back of what was described as a year that posed “many external challenges.”
“The anticipated Ogden discount rate reforms have not yet made it through the Parliamentary process, GDPR has to be implemented and of course, there is little clarity on what Brexit will mean in reality,” she said.
“The profitability that we continue to deliver with such consistency gives me the confidence that we have the right strategy, people and execution capability to bring a new kind of insurer to the market. One that plays a genuine role in the lives of all its customers.”
We’ll bring you an Insurance Business interview with Amanda Blanc, including her thoughts on the broker market in the UK, later today.