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Axa UK life & savings earnings down 44% in 2008

Axa UK has reported a 44 per cent drop in underlying earnings for its life and savings business to £97m in 2008.

The life and savings business, which includes Bluefin Advisory Services, saw earnings drop from £174m in 2007 to £97m last year as stock market falls hit annual management charges levied on assets and depreciated intangible assets.

Axa says increased investment costs for initiatives such as Architas and Axa distribution services also adversely impacted earnings.

In July 2008, Axa launched the Architas fund of funds range, boosting funds under management to over £1.1bn at the end of 2008. The Axa distribution services ‘Elevate’ wrap was also revamped to offer pension and drawdown facilities to the existing mutual fund range.

Total APE for life and savings reduced to £1,026 in 2008 from £1,087m a year earlier but 10 per cent revenue growth was gained in corporate pensions and 63 per cent APE revenue growth was achieved in Axa’s protection account.

Revenues in the group’s wealth management operations fell by £101m to £618m due to stock market volatility, greater risk avsersion for longer-term investment and tax legislation changes.

Axa UK group chief executive Nicolas Moreau says: “Despite the deteriorating economic outlook throughout 2008, enhancing customer service remained at the heart of our strategic development across the UK and Ireland.

“The poor state of the markets shouldn’t diminish the success we’ve achieved in terms of improving customer satisfaction and I am determined to continue with investments across our business to bring about further change while at the same time maintaining our competitive position.”

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