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AXA H1 earnings boosted by euro weakness

AXA, Europe's second-largest insurer, posted a 2 percent increase in net income as a fall in the value of financial assets reduced the benefit of a weak euro on its earnings.

Net income reached 3.077 billion euros ($3.37 billion) in the first half, compared with 3.008 billion in the same period last year, AXA said on Tuesday.

Nicolas Maeterlinck | AFP | Getty Images

That included a negative impact of 250 million euros linked to the change in the accounting fair value of financial assets that decreased as interest rates spiked during the period.

Though higher interest rates weighed on the accounting value of some assets, financial director Gerald Harlin said: "On the business level, higher interest rates are good for AXA."

With 40 percent of its business outside of the euro zone, underlying earnings benefited from a weaker euro and were also boosted by life insurance and savings activities, as well as asset management.

Underlying earnings rose 12 percent to 3.102 billion euros, and were up 2 percent when taking exchange rate fluctuations into account.

Harlin said the group was confident it would achieve its targets in its strategic plan and had completed 1.8 billion euros of the 1.9 billion in cost savings planned for this year.