Chicago-based insurance broker Aon Corp. reported net income jumped 372 percent on the sale of its two insurance company units to ACE Ltd. and Munich Re Group.
Aon sold Combined Insurance Company of America to ACE, and Sterling Life Insurance Company to Munich Re; the two deals were valued at close to $3 billion. The deals were completed at the beginning of April.
Aon reported net income rose $893 million to $1.13 billion for the second quarter of this year compared to the same period last year. Net income per share rose $3.10 to $3.91 a share. Revenues rose 6 percent, or $114 million, to close to $2 billion.
For the six months, net income rose 198 percent, or $898 million, to $1.4 billion. Earnings per share for the first half of the year increased $3.02 to $4.55 a share. Revenues increased 7 percent, or $248 million, to $3.9 billion.
Despite reporting such net income gains, there were signs the firm is suffering from the same challenges other insurance brokers have reported.
Greg Case, Aon’s president and chief executive officer said during an analyst’s conference call that the firm is seeing the impact on its clients of the distressed economy, especially with private equity and construction business.
“We see our clients suffering, frankly,” said Mr. Case. “It impacts us and will continue to impact us.”
Income from continuing operations dropped 8 percent, or $15 million, to $168 million in the quarter, and for the first half was almost flat, dropping $1 million to $347 million.
He said the good news for the firm is that it is a global operation which is a hedge against the downturn in the United States economy.
The firm reported overall organic growth of 2 percent for the quarter and first half of the year. Organic growth in the Americas was off 1 percent in the quarter and flat for the first half of the year, while other sectors increased. Europe, Middle East and Africa showed the largest gain at 7 percent for the quarter and 5 percent for the first half of the year.
Restructuring expense increased to $53 million in the quarter compared to $25 million for the same period last year. The restructuring is primarily related to workforce reductions, the firm said.
Mr. Case called the results “a quarter of continued progress against our goals. Despite soft market conditions globally, and economic conditions in the U.S., we are in a position of strength.”
He also noted that today is the last day for Aon’s founder Patrick G. Ryan as executive chairman of the firm. Mr. Ryan retires after 41 years at the helm of the brokerage firm. Mr. Case said that despite Mr. Ryan’s retirement “he will always be there to help” in some capacity with the firm.