Aon’s 1st Quarter Profit Rises 8 Percent on Higher International Fees

May 7, 2007

Chicago-based Aon Corp., said last week that the first-quarter profit rose 8 percent as the company collected higher brokerage fees in other countries and bolstered its own insurance underwriting.

Net income for the quarter was $213 million, or 66 cents per share, up from $198 million, or 57 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2006.

Profit excluding charges and extraordinary items was 70 cents per share, beating Wall Street’s estimate of 66 cents per share, according to a Thomson Financial poll.

Revenue rose 10 percent to $2.38 billion from $2.17 billion, better than the $2.26 billion expected by analysts.

Brokerage commissions, which Aon charges for linking clients with insurers, rose 8 percent to $1.74 billion. Aon also underwrites its own insurance. Premiums from Aon’s insurance policies rose 16 percent to $539 million.

The company said better productivity and expense management helped Aon overcome a soft market for insurance. Insurance prices in many markets are falling because underwriters are competing for business. Lower insurance prices are bad for Aon because most brokerage fees are assessed as a percentage of a policy’s premium.

Strong revenue growth in Europe, the Middle East and Asia offset flat revenue in the U.S. and U.K., Aon said.

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