Axa to cut 500 jobs in bid to save £80m

Insurance giant Axa yesterday announced it would cut 500 jobs as part of a move to save £80m over three years.

HR, finance, IT and marketing roles are among the jobs that will be axed, according to the company’s interim results. This is despite reporting a 14% increase in underlying earnings to £183m in the first half of 2008, up from £160m the previous year.

However, Axa hopes most of the job losses will be made through ‘natural wastage’, such as retirement or turnover, rather than compulsory redundancies.

The report said: “Up to 500 redundancies are expected to be made within the support services and related functions, subject to consultation. The company will manage the process with sensitivity to limit the number of compulsory redundancies where possible by focusing on reducing headcount through natural attrition, redeployment and more efficient use of contractors.”

The group chief executive of Axa UK, Nicolas Moreau, added in a statement: “The developments we have outlined signal our intent to improve continually our effectiveness and efficiency to ensure the business model is well prepared to withstand changing market conditions – as well as our determination to provide customers with tangible service excellence.”

The interim results also said UK property markets remained difficult and showed little signs of early improvement.

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