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Friends and Axa prosper but Zurich suffers fall

Zurich Financial Services, Friends Provident and Axa have released contrasting results.

Zurich Financial Services&#39 group losses rose to £2.15bn from £244m in 2001. Profits at its UK, Ireland and South African operations halved to £106m from £221m on an equivalent premium income basis.

But Friends Provident saw an 11 per cent increase in new life and pension business to £377m from £343m last year.

Profits at Axa&#39a UK life and pension business increased to £182m from £150m despite a drop in overall new business to £532m from £567m in 2001.

Friends Provident group chief executive Keith Satchell says: “We finished the year with our best-ever quarter and the overall increase in new business of 11 per cent for the year is a very good result against the backdrop of falling stockmarkets.”

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