Aon PLC's fourth-quarter earnings rose 10% as the insurance brokerage recorded stronger revenue, driven by growth in its human-resources unit, although operating expenses climbed.
Aon, which has been beefing up its human-resources-solutions business, in October agreed to buy OmniPoint's Workday Services company. Aon said the acquisition would allow it to expand its Workday capabilities, which include providing HR technology and services to mid-sized and large, global organizations.
And in 2010, Aon agreed to buy human-resources firm Hewitt Associates for $4.9 billion in its biggest deal ever, an acquisition that has since helped its top line.
On Friday, Aon reported that revenue at its HR-solutions unit rose 7.5% to $1.08 billion. However, operating income in the segment was down 20% as operating expenses climbed 10%.
At the risk-solutions unit, total revenue rose 2.4% to $2.05 billion from a year earlier. Operating income in the segment jumped 15%.
Overall, Aon reported a profit of $305 million, or 93 cents a share, versus $277 million, or 82 cents a share, a year earlier. Earnings from continuing operations were $1.27 from $1.16.
Total revenue climbed 4% to $3.12 billion. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected earnings from continuing operations of $1.26 a share on $3.07 billion in total revenue.
Chief Executive Greg Case said the quarter's results were "driven by a higher rate of organic revenue growth across each segment, strong free-cash-flow growth and effective capital management, as highlighted by the repurchase of $500 million of ordinary shares in the quarter."
Operating expenses rose 3.5%, while Aon's operating margin widened slightly to 14.8%.
Shares closed Thursday at $57.74 and were inactive in recent premarket trading. The stock has climbed 17% in the past 12 months.