AXA Q1 sales rise 3 pct, helped by asset management

PARIS Mon May 6, 2013 12:32pm EDT

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PARIS May 6 (Reuters) - Europe's No. 2 insurer, AXA , reported a 3 percent rise in first-quarter sales to 28.9 billion euros ($37.7 billion), helped by gains in life insurance and asset management.

The company's new-business margin in life insurance rose to 32 percent from 29 percent, AXA said in a statement on Monday.

While property and casualty revenue rose 2 percent in the quarter on a like-for-like basis, life insurance gained 4 percent, while asset management jumped 8 percent, AXA said.

AXA shares have gained 10 percent so far this year, slightly outperforming the sector, which is up 9.5 percent over the same period.

AXA said its Solvency I ratio, a measure of financial strength, stood at 228 percent at the end of March, down slightly from 233 percent at the end of 2012. ($1 = 0.7659 euros) (Reporting by Christian Plumb; Editing by James Regan)

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