Marsh Sees First Quarter Bump in Revenue, New Business

May 7, 2008

Marsh reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2008 that showed insurance revenues up 7 percent and new insurance business up 10 percent.

But overall Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (MMC) posted a first quarter loss of $210 million due to a write-down of the value of its Kroll technology and risk consulting division.

MMC’s quarterly revenue in risk and insurance combined rose 2 percent to $1.51 billion, as a 10 percent increase in new business production helped offset growing price competition in commercial property and casualty insurance.

Brian Duperreault, president and chief executive officer, said MMC’s revenue growth in the quarter was “solid” and driven by insurance broker Marsh and Mercer, its human resource services unit.

“Marsh grew revenue on both a reported and underlying basis, generated strong new business results and showed marked improvement in client revenue retention – all important indicators of its progress,” he said.

MMC’s Risk and Insurance Services segment quarterly operating income decreased to $240 million from $259 million in the first quarter of 2007.

In the quarter, Marsh’s revenue was $1.2 billion, up 7 percent from last year, with the strongest growth in Asia Pacific. Underlying revenue grew 1 percent, including 3 percent growth in EMEA; 8 percent growth in Asia Pacific; and 3 percent growth in Latin America.

Marsh said its new business production increased 10 percent.

Marsh noted that the results were achieved in an environment of significant price competition in the global commercial property and casualty insurance marketplace.

Reinsurance unit Guy Carpenter’s first quarter revenue was $273 million, a decline of 6 percent from the prior year’s quarter. Reinsurance premium rates continued to decline across most coverages globally, with clients’ risk retention levels remaining high, the company said.

Duperreault said MMC continues to evaluate Kroll, suggesting a sale is possible.

Source: MMC
www.mmc.com

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