PARIS Feb 23 AXA, France's biggest
insurer, posted a 4 percent increase in 2016 net income, as
stronger earnings from property insurance coverage and a
recovery in its life and savings business helped to offset
weakness in asset management.
Net income rose to 5.83 billion euros ($6.2 billion) in
2016, compared with 5.62 billion in the same period last year,
AXA said on Thursday. This was slightly below the average of
analyst estimates of 5.86 billion in a Reuters poll.
In the face of falling yields on its investments, AXA aims
to increase earnings per share by 3 to 7 percent a year over the
2016-2020 period, seeking to lift profitability through tariff
hikes and higher-margin products while reducing its costs.
AXA said underlying earnings per share rose 4 percent,
"despite continued low interest rates and market volatility".
"We are on track on the headline targets of our Ambition
2020 plan," the insurer said in a statement.
($1 = 0.9465 euros)
(Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva and Matthieu Protard; Editing by