Chicago-based brokerage Aon Corp. reported quarterly earnings of $152 million, or 48 cents per share, down 5 percent from a year ago’s $160 million, or 57 cents per share.
The company, one of the top insurance brokerages in the world, said earnings were hurt by unexpectedly high pension costs as well as costs related to subleasing office space rented after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Aon had offices in the World Trade Center and after they were destroyed in the attacks the company rushed to find temporary space but has since moved for good. The space was subleased at a rate lower than what Aon had paid, resulting in a $37 million charge this quarter.
Aon said that 2003 earnings would be about $2 per share not counting the World Trade Center cost.
Revenue increased in the first quarter by 14 percent to $2.39 billion, thanks to the hardened market.