18 Feb 2010

AXA Asia-Pacific returns to profit

7:24 am on 18 February 2010

AXA Asia-Pacific, which is being circled by National Australia Bank and AMP, has posted its biggest annual profit since 2003, but is keeping mum on a takeover tussle.

The company, whose main owner is AXA SA of France, is not commenting on the high stakes $A12 billion takeover saga.

AXA Asia-Pacific reported a net profit of $A679 million, helped by a revival in business in the second half. It posted a loss of $A279 million a year ago.

The company expects to make an after-tax profit of $A675 million this year.

AMP reports its earnings on Thursday and the NAB announces its quarterly update on Friday: both could then reveal their next steps in regards to the takeover.

But gaining regulatory clearance will be pivotal. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission hopes to announce a decision on the two bids by 17 March.