Insurer’s new plan includes $2.3bn in cost cuts


French insurer AXA has unveiled its 2020 strategy with plans to cut costs, grow in Asia and adapt to customers’ needs.

The strategic plan, unveiled by incoming chief executive officer Thomas Buberl, outlined a number of financial objectives to be achieved.

AXA plans to improve its profitability by 2020 by pursuing €2.1bn ($2.36bn) in cost cutting.

The insurer also said it was targeting an average annual increase in underlying earnings per share of between 3%-7% to 2020.

“After the success of Ambition AXA, we have an excellent starting point to pursue our transformation, and to adapt and grow in a challenging economic environment,” said Buberl.

AXA added that it may spend about €1bn annually on acquisitions which will be “balanced across mature and emerging markets”.

In Asia, the insurer said it was targeting 10%-12% growth in underlying earnings by 2020.

Gaëlle Oliver, chief executive officer of AXA Global P&C, added: “In property and casualty, our focus will be on actively growing our commercial lines footprint and accelerating our development in high growth countries while continuing to transform our retail operations to better address changing customer needs.

“We intend to efficiently manage throughout the cycle to continue to improve our profitability, leveraging our technical capabilities, our unique data potential and new technologies.”

AXA’s main financial objectives for 2020 are:

  • Underlying earnings per share of between 3% and 7%
  • Adjusted return on equity between 12% and 14% over the period 2016-2020
  • Solvency II ratio target range between 170% and 230%
  • 2.1bn pre-tax cost savings by 2020