August 1, 2019 / 5:33 AM / 7 months ago

AXA's first-half profit falls after writing down value of Equitable Holdings

FILE PHOTO: The logo of insurer Axa is seen at the high profile startups and high tech leaders gathering, Viva Tech,in Paris, France May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - French insurer AXA’s (AXAF.PA) net profit fell 17% in the first half of the year after booking charges related to the valuation of its remaining stake in Axa Equitable Holdings and the mark-to-market valuation of derivatives.

AXA, the second-largest European insurer after Germany’s Allianz (ALVG.DE), said its net profit fell to 2.33 billion euros ($2.6 billion) from 2.8 billion a year ago.

The French insurer booked charges worth 1.4 billion euros, including 789 million euros, related to the mark-to-market valuation of derivatives and a 600 million euros write-down of its remaining 38.9% stake in Axa Equitable Holdings (EQH.N).

Nevertheless AXA’s overall revenues rose 8% to 57.95 billion euros, and AXA’s shares edged up 0.2% in early session trading.

Analysts polled by Refinitiv expected a net profit of 3.81 billion euros and a mean revenue of 55.21 billion euros.

AXA’s adjusted earnings were up 10% to 4 billion euros, lifted by a 502 million euro contribution by AXA XL, which it acquired last year for $15 billion as part of a reshuffling of its activities launched by CEO Thomas Buberl three years ago when he was appointed at the helm.

Buberl has said he wants the insurer to be more exposed to the risk of property damage and health and less to market risks.

Reporting by Inti Landauro and Matthieu Protard; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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