Axa cuts more jobs amid tough trading

INSURANCE giant Axa yesterday warned of a further 350 job losses in a cost cutting drive aimed at boosting annual savings to �150 million.

INSURANCE giant Axa yesterday warned of a further 350 job losses in a cost cutting drive aimed at boosting annual savings to �150 million.

The cuts are planned within Axa UK's life business, the main offices of which are based in Bristol, Basingstoke and Coventry, and an Axa spokesman said none of those likely to be affected were based at the group's office in Ipswich.

In June, Axa announced the loss of 120 jobs across its three offices in the Suffolk, mostly as its Civic Drive site in Ipswich, as part of a group-wide reduction of 560 jobs.

News of the latest job cuts came as Axa announced half year results showing earnings of �186million, an increase of 2% compared with last year's first half.


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However, Axa said that trading conditions remained “testing”, with the results benefiting from a �106 million one-off gain from a restructuring of annuity liabilities.

Half-year revenues remained flat at its general insurance and healthcare insurance business, at �1.87 billion, while life and savings business slumped 18% to �441 million during the first six months of the year.

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Axa said it was extending a the target of its three-year cost cutting programme announced - announced last August and under which more than 1,000 job losses have already been announced - from �80 million to �150 million.

Nicolas Moreau, group chief executive of AXA UK, said measures taken over the past year to cut costs and improve efficiency were showing “considerable progress”.

“We are continuing to transform AXA UK to operate with increased efficiency and effectiveness and ensure that we come out of the market downturn fitter and stronger,” he said.

Axa UK employs 13,000 people across brands including online motor insurer Swiftcover, Axa Winterthur Wealth Management and Sun Life Direct. The wider group is headquartered in France and employs more than 214,000 worldwide.

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