Marsh & McLennan Posts $347M Q1 Income, Up 6.8% From Last Year

May 2, 2012

Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. reported $347 million net income for its 2012 first quarter, up 6.8 percent from $325 million reported during the same period in 2011.

The total revenues for the quarter were $3.05 billion, up 5.7 percent from $2.88 billion reported one year ago.

Revenues jumped 6.9 percent to $1.75 billion for the risk and insurance services — which include brokerage and risk management unit Marsh Inc. and reinsurance brokerage unit Guy Carpenter. Operating income for risk and insurance services rose 9 percent to $417 million.

Revenues for insurance broker Marsh Inc. went up 7.6 percent to $1.38 billion. Marsh’s U.S./Canada division reported a 6 percent increase in its underlying revenues, while Marsh’s international operations showed even bigger growth, including 18 percent revenue growth in Latin America and 10 percent revenue growth in Asia Pacific.

Revenues at reinsurance broker Guy Carpenter rose 5 percent to $357 million.

“Marsh produced another strong quarter, generating underlying revenue growth of 7 percent with all major geographies contributing,” CEO Brian Duperreault said during the earnings call Tuesday. “This growth was driven by both higher client retention, revenue retention rates and new business development.”

Revenues in consulting units also improved. Revenues for Mercer human resource consulting unit increased 3.8 percent to $957 million. Management consulting unit Oliver Wyman Group’s revenue jumped 5 percent to $356 million. “Consulting segment delivered excellent performance in the quarter as well, producing solid revenue growth on both a reported and underlying basis,” Duperreault said.

Investment income for the quarter was $20 million, up slightly from $19 million reported during the prior-year period.

‘Terrific Start to the Year’

Duperreault said the company is off to “a terrific start to the year.”

“We are pleased with the first-quarter results,” he said. “Our performance demonstrates that we are fulfilling the strategic priority of generating consistent long-term growth in revenue and earnings that we articulated at the investor day 20 months ago.”

Duperreault said the company saw revenue growth and higher levels of profitability in all its businesses. “Underlying revenue growth of 6 percent, combined with ongoing control of expenses, resulted in growth of 12 percent in adjusted operating income and 13 percent growth in adjusted earnings per share. This performance is consistent with our long-term plan to produce double-digit earnings growth.”

Searching for New CFO

Duperreault also said during the earnings call that the company is continuing its search process for a new chief financial officer. The previous CFO, Vanessa Wittman, left Marsh & McLennan in April to take a senior role at Internet search giant Google.

Marsh & McLennan noted that corporate expense in the first quarter was $48 million, which is higher than normal. The main reason for this is that certain members of the senior management team became eligible for retirement this year, and that their equity grants and stock options are being expensed this year.

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