Posted on 24 Oct 2012 by Neilson
Willis Group Holdings PLC's third-quarter profit fell 57% on lower fees and commissions, higher costs and fewer one-time benefits.
Willis, one of the world's largest insurance brokers, had seen its bottom line improve recently as it posted fewer charges related to a 2011 operational review and other special impacts. But its revenue from commissions and fees has been unsteady.
In the latest quarter, commissions and fees edged down 0.5%, roughly flat in North America and in the global segment, which includes the reinsurance and global specialties unit. Commissions and fees were down 2% in the company's international segment.
The year-ago period also benefited from several one-off gains, including revenue from tax adjustments and investment gains, said Chief Executive Joe Plumeri.
Willis reported a profit of $26 million, or 15 cents a share, down from $60 million, or 34 cents a share, a year earlier. The latest period included a $12 million charge related to a settlement with a former joint venture partner in India and the disposal of operations there, while the year-ago period included a $15 million charge related to an operational review.
Excluding special items, earnings from continuing operations declined to 22 cents from 41 cents.
Revenue slipped 0.8% to $754 million.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters predicted per-share earnings of 30 cents on revenue of $771 million.
Operating margin narrowed to 9.3% from 11.8%, and expenses grew 2.1%.