PARIS - French insurer Axa posted on Monday a 180% surge in net income in the first half as the company rebounded from last year's COVID-19 hit in earnings when it booked a 1.5 billion euros ($1.78 billion) charge following a spike in pandemic-related claims.
Axa, Europe's second-largest after Allianz, said net profit stood at 3.99 billion euros in the first half, up from 1.43 billion euros a year ago.
Axa said its company-focused XL Group unit, hit last year by business interruption and event cancellations claims, posted a 619 million euros underlying income from a 843 million euro loss a year ago.
"Taking advantage of the continued favorable pricing momentum, Axa XL is well positioned to deliver its euro 1.2 billion earnings target in 2021", Axa Chief Executive Thomas Buberl said in a statement.
Axa also said underlying profit was up 93% in the first half to 3.64 billion euros.
($1 = 0.8427 euros)
(Reporting by Matthieu Protard; Editing by Kim Coghill) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; +33-1-49495381;))