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Marsh Third-Quarter Net Up 85% on Absence of Debt Extinguishment Charge

Source: Dow Jones

Posted on 07 Nov 2012 by Neilson

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Marsh third-quarter profitsMarsh & McLennan Cos.' (MMC) third-quarter profit jumped 85% as revenue edged up and the insurance brokerage benefited from a comparison with a year-earlier period that included a loss related to the early extinguishment of debt.

The company's insurance and consulting businesses have been a continued source of strength for Marsh & McLennan, as have a series of acquisitions that have given a boost to the firm's revenue.

Chief Executive Brian Duperreault said Tuesday that the company's "underlying revenue grew across all geographies, reflecting solid client revenue retention rates and continued new business development."

Marsh posted a profit of $241 million, or 44 cents a share, compared with a profit of $130 million, or 24 cents a share, a year earlier. The most recent quarter included an investment loss of $4 million. The prior year's period included $72 million of expense, or about nine cents a share, related to the early extinguishment of debt. Excluding one-time items, earnings were 39 cents a share in the most recent period.

Revenue rose 1.4% to $2.85 billion. On an underlying basis, which excludes currency fluctuations and items such as acquisitions, dispositions and transfers among businesses, revenue rose 3%.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a per-share earnings of 38 cents on $2.92 billion in total revenue.

Revenue at the risk and insurance division, the company's largest segment, climbed 2% to $1.5 billion, while operating income popped 26% to $234 million. Revenue in the smaller consulting segment edged up 1% to $1.3 billion, while operating income climbed 20% to $193 million.

Income tax expense rose 38% to $90 million.

In September, Marsh & McLennan said Brian Duperreault would retire as chief executive and president at the end of the year, with Chief Operating Officer Daniel S. Glaser succeeding him. Earlier that some month, the insurance brokerage said it had named J. Michael Bischoff as its chief financial officer, making permanent a role he had held on an interim basis since March.