* Net result? 5.02 billion in 2014
* Revenue up 3% like
* Positive effect of currency provided for 2015-CFO (Updated with courses and analyst comments)
by Matthieu Protard and Leigh Thomas
PARIS, Feb. 25 (Reuters) – French insurer Axa announced Wednesday a net profit up 12% in 2014 to 5,020,000,000 euros, mainly due to lower overhead costs, and indicated to be confident to achieve the savings target it has set for the end of the year .
The number two insurance in Europe after Germany’s Allianz, said its revenue rose last year by 3% in comparable basis to 91.988 billion euros, over and above expectations.
According to the Thomson Reuters consensus I / B / E / S, analysts on average expected a net profit of 5.14 billion euros for a turnover of 90.72 billion.
As part of its strategic plan to five years, Axa has set a goal of reaching 1.9 billion euros in savings by the end of 2015.
In fiscal year 2014, savings amounted to approximately € 300 million.
“We are 1.6 billion of $ 1.9 billion. So we are very confident to achieve our plan of $ 1.9 billion at the end of this year, “said Gerald Harlin, chief financial officer of the insurer, in a telephone conference.
added that the groupoe had not had in his last year of account the impact of the decline of the euro against foreign currencies.
“The exchange, we will see the positive effect in 2015, not in 2014, “said Gerald Harlin.
In exchange, the action Axa wins 4.3% to 22.36 euros after 20 minutes of trading. It gains 16% since the beginning of the year.
In a research note, Bryan Garnier analysts point out that the insurer reported a “strong operational performance” in 2014, while considering forecasts Group 2015 “cautiously optimistic.”
Axa, which also announced Wednesday the launch of a seed fund of € 200 million, plans to pay its shareholders a dividend 0.95 euro per share for 2014, up 17%.
“The market should enjoy the 17% increase in the dividend,” responds a financial analyst.
Axa took last weekend a stake of 7.15% in Africa Re reinsurer’s capital for an amount of about 53 million.
The group says it will continue its policy of acquisitions, mainly in emerging countries.
“We have always said that we had a growth will in the high-growth countries, it means emerging countries rather” said the financial director of Axa in reference to Asia and Africa.
“We continue. But do not forget, this is also pursuing organic growth “
* The release results of Axa.
http: // go. axa.com/17wUxZa
* The news on venture capital funds:
http://go.axa.com/1EPis16 (Edited by Dominique Rodriguez)