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AXA sees growth coming in Slovakia

THE AXA Group, a French firm active in insurance, banking and pension savings, thinks Slovakia and the Czech Republic are countries with a potential for high growth.

THE AXA Group, a French firm active in insurance, banking and pension savings, thinks Slovakia and the Czech Republic are countries with a potential for high growth.

“Within central and eastern European countries we put great hopes on Slovakia and the Czech Republic,” stated Martin Vogl, AXA CEO for the Czech Republic and Slovakia, as quoted by the SITA newswire in mid February when speaking about the firm’s most recent financial results.

The CEO added that AXA’s strategy is focused on countries with potential to grow and the company plans to invest more in developing markets. AXA’s total investment in Slovakia has reached €153.8 million and the firm said it has the intention of operating in Slovakia over the long term.

The most profitable business segment in Slovakia was life insurance, delivering a profit of about €4 million last year according to Mojmír Boucník, the financial director of AXA for the Czech Republic and Slovakia. AXA reported a 2 percent influx of new customers in 2011 in its life insurance and pension programmes, which now cover 677,000 Slovaks.

Assets managed by the firm grew by 19 percent to reach €1.5 billion but AXA noted that handling savers’ assets in Slovakia’s second pension pillar resulted in a loss of about €2 million.

The firm’s non-life insurance customers dropped by one percent to 101,000 and gross written premiums for this type of insurance fell by 25 percent to €12.9 million, with the largest portion of the fall coming in the car insurance sector, dropping by 28 percent year-on-year to €11.9 million.

AXA entered the Slovak non-life insurance market in April 2008 and company representatives told SITA that it usually takes somewhere between five and seven years to start operating in the black.

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