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NEW YORK, NEW YORK, November 1, 2006 — Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (MMC) today reported financial results for the third quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2006. Consolidated revenues for the quarter were $2.9 billion, an increase of 4 percent from the 2005 third quarter. Consolidated net income more than doubled to $176 million from $69 million last year, and earnings per share grew to $.31 from $.12. Earnings per share from continuing operations increased to $.32 in the third quarter from $.11 last year.
For the first nine months of 2006, consolidated revenues were $8.9 billion, compared with $8.8 billion for the same period of 2005. Consolidated net income was $764 million, or $1.36 per share, compared with $369 million, or $.68 per share, in 2005. Results from discontinued operations, net of tax, were $173 million, or $.31 per share, resulting primarily from MMC's sale of its investment in Sedgwick Claims Management in January 2006. Results from discontinued operations in 2005 were $17 million, or $.03 per share. Income from continuing operations was $591 million, or $1.05 per share, compared with $352 million, or $.65 per share, in 2005. Stock option expense in the first nine months of 2006 was $93 million. Stock option expense in the first nine months of 2005 was $31 million, and related only to the third quarter, since MMC adopted SFAS No. 123(R), "Share-Based Payment," on July 1, 2005.
A number of noteworthy items affected financial results, including restructuring and related costs; legal and regulatory costs primarily related to market service agreements; and other items indicated in the attached supplemental schedules. In the third quarter and first nine months of 2006, noteworthy items totaled $57 million, or $.06 per share, and $166 million, or $.19 per share, respectively. In the third quarter and first nine months of 2005, noteworthy items reduced earnings per share from continuing operations by $.19 and $.58, respectively.
"MMC had a good third quarter," said Michael G. Cherkasky, president and chief executive officer of MMC. "Consolidated revenue growth was the highest we have achieved in two years. Our efforts to become more efficient across MMC produced substantially improved year-over-year profitability and margin, a continuation of the positive trends begun earlier this year.
"Marsh continued its recovery. Improvement in new business was even stronger this quarter, following growth in the second quarter. Client retention rates in the quarter increased over the prior year. European operating performance improved, with increased new business and higher client retention levels and profitability. These revenue trends allowed Marsh to report flat quarterly underlying revenues for the first time in two years, as well as substantially improved profitability. Guy Carpenter, despite a challenging market environment, exhibited revenue growth as a result of continued new business development. Kroll continued the successful implementation of its business strategy, resulting in growth in key businesses. Mercer Human Resource Consulting reported underlying revenue growth in all of its businesses, and Mercer Specialty Consulting continued its double-digit revenue growth. Putnam performed as expected, with positive institutional flows contributing to improved net flows. We are optimistic about our future prospects," Mr. Cherkasky concluded.
Risk and Insurance Services
Risk and insurance services revenues of $1.3 billion in the third quarter were similar to last year's third quarter, and flat on an underlying basis. Operating income increased markedly in the quarter to $143 million, compared with $20 million last year, reflecting restructuring efforts, improved efficiencies, and cost discipline. The operating margin for the first nine months of 2006 improved to 13.5 percent from 5.7 percent last year. Adjusting for the impact of noteworthy items and stock option expense, segment operating margin was 17.3 percent in the first nine months of 2006, compared with 14.2 percent in the same period of 2005. Please see the attached supplemental schedules for a reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures to reported GAAP results.
Marsh revenues were $1 billion in the third quarter, a decline of 2 percent, and flat on an underlying basis. Growth in new business continued, increasing 11 percent globally. Guy Carpenter also experienced double-digit growth in new business, resulting in revenues increasing 3 percent in the third quarter to $214 million. Although U.S. property catastrophe rates increased, rates on most other lines of business were flat to down, and the market environment for property catastrophe reinsurance continued to be affected by limited reinsurer capacity and higher risk retention by clients.
Risk Capital Holdings revenues of $45 million in the third quarter were unchanged from the 2005 third quarter. More than half of the quarter's revenues were unrealized mark-to-market gains. Revenues of $119 million through the first nine months of 2006 declined from $162 million for the same period of 2005.
Risk Consulting and Technology
Kroll revenues increased 4 percent to $251 million, and operating income rose to $37 million in the third quarter. The technology services group, Kroll's largest business unit, sustained its solid performance, led by the background screening business, which reported double-digit growth. The unit's electronic discovery business responded successfully to market conditions and continued its improvement from the first quarter of this year. Consulting services reported double-digit underlying revenue growth. Corporate advisory and restructuring performed well, but its results were affected by the anticipated absence of success fees from major restructuring assignments such as those recorded in the second quarter of the year. Results for the security group reflected the orderly exit from high-risk international assignments that had limited profitability and no longer fit Kroll's business strategy.
Consulting revenues increased 13 percent to $1.1 billion in the third quarter, or 10 percent on an underlying basis. Year-to-date revenues increased 10 percent to $3.1 billion, or 9 percent on an underlying basis. Mercer Human Resource Consulting increased revenues 10 percent to $762 million in the third quarter, or 7 percent on an underlying basis. Year-to-date revenues increased 7 percent to $2.3 billion. All of the Mercer HR businesses exhibited underlying revenue growth, driven by Europe and Asia. The health and benefits business increased underlying revenues by 5 percent, a notable improvement over previous quarters.
Mercer Specialty Consulting revenues grew 22 percent to $304 million in the third quarter, or 16 percent on an underlying basis. This exceptional performance was led by Mercer Oliver Wyman and the strategy and operations business, which increased underlying revenues 21 percent and 19 percent, respectively. Year-to-date revenues increased 18 percent to $863 million, or 17 percent on an underlying basis.
Putnam revenues declined 8 percent to $342 million in the quarter. Ending assets on September 30, 2006 were $182 billion, comprising $118 billion in mutual fund assets and $64 billion in institutional assets. Average assets under management were $179 billion, compared with $195 billion in the third quarter of 2005. Institutional flows were positive for the first time since the third quarter of 2003. Net outflows were approximately $3 billion in the quarter.
MMC's net debt position, which is total debt less cash and cash equivalents, was $3.4 billion at the end of the 2006 third quarter, a decrease of over $450 million from the end of the second quarter.
A conference call to discuss third quarter 2006 results will be held today at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. To participate in the teleconference, please dial 866 564 7444 or 719 234 0008 (international). The access code for both numbers is 7646511. The audio webcast may be accessed at www.mmc.com. A replay of the webcast will be available approximately two hours after the event at the same web address.
MMC is a global professional services firm with annual revenues of approximately $12 billion. It is the parent company of Marsh, the world's leading risk and insurance services firm; Guy Carpenter, the world's leading risk and reinsurance specialist; Kroll, the world's leading risk consulting company; Mercer, a major global provider of human resource and specialty consulting services; and Putnam Investments, one of the largest investment management companies in the United States. Approximately 55,000 employees provide analysis, advice, and transactional capabilities to clients in over 100 countries. Its stock (ticker symbol: MMC) is listed on the New York, Chicago, Pacific, and London stock exchanges. MMC's website address is www.mmc.com.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements," as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements, which express management's current views concerning future events or results, use words like "anticipate," "assume," "believe," "continue," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "plan," "project" and similar terms, and future or conditional tense verbs like "could," "should," "will" and "would." For example, we may use forward-looking statements when addressing topics such as: future actions by our management or regulators; the outcome of contingencies; changes in our business strategy; changes in our business practices and methods of generating revenue; the development and performance of our services and products; market and industry conditions, including competitive and pricing trends; changes in the composition or level of MMC's revenues; our cost structure; the impact of acquisitions and dispositions; and MMC's cash flow and liquidity.
Forward-looking statements are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in our forward-looking statements include:
- the economic and reputational impact of: litigation and regulatory proceedings brought by federal and state regulators and law enforcement authorities concerning our insurance and reinsurance brokerage and investment management operations (including the complaints relating to market service agreements and other matters filed by, respectively, the New York Attorney General's office in October 2004, the Connecticut Attorney General's office in January 2005 and the Florida Attorney General's office and Department of Financial Services in March 2006, and proceedings relating to market-timing matters at Putnam); and class actions, derivative actions and individual suits filed by policyholders and shareholders in connection with the foregoing;
- in light of Marsh's elimination of contingent commission arrangements in late 2004, our ability to achieve profitable revenue growth in our risk and insurance services segment by providing both traditional insurance brokerage services and additional risk advisory services;
- our ability to retain existing clients and attract new business, particularly in our risk and insurance services segment, and our ability to retain key employees;
- period-to-period revenue fluctuations in risk and insurance services relating to the net effect of new and lost business production and the timing of policy inception dates;
- the impact on risk and insurance services commission revenues of changes in the availability of, and the premiums insurance carriers charge for, insurance and reinsurance products, including the impact on premium rates and market capacity attributable to catastrophic events such as hurricanes;
- the impact on renewals in our risk and insurance services segment of pricing trends in particular insurance markets, fluctuations in the general level of economic activity and decisions by insureds with respect to the level of risk they will self-insure;
- the impact on our consulting segment of pricing trends and utilization rates;
- the actual and relative investment performance of Putnam's mutual funds and institutional and other advisory accounts, and the extent to which Putnam reverses its recent net redemption experience, increases assets under management and maintains management and administrative fees at historical levels;
- our ability to implement our restructuring initiatives and otherwise reduce or control expenses and achieve operating efficiencies;
- the impact of competition, including with respect to pricing and the emergence of new competitors;
- the impact of increasing focus by regulators, clients and others on potential conflicts of interest, particularly in connection with the provision of consulting and investment advisory services;
- fluctuations in the value of Risk Capital Holdings' investments in individual companies and investment funds;
- our ability to make strategic acquisitions and dispositions and to integrate, and realize expected synergies, savings or strategic benefits from, the businesses we acquire;
- our exposure to potential liabilities arising from errors and omissions claims against us;
- our ability to meet our financing needs by generating cash from operations and accessing external financing sources, including the potential impact of rating agency actions on our cost of financing or ability to borrow;
- the impact on our operating results of foreign exchange fluctuations; and
- changes in the tax or accounting treatment of our operations, and the impact of other legislation and regulation in the jurisdictions in which we operate, particularly given the global scope of our businesses.
The factors identified above are not exhaustive. MMC and its subsidiaries operate in a dynamic business environment in which new risks may emerge frequently. Accordingly, MMC cautions readers not to place undue reliance on its forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the dates on which they are made.
MMC undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances arising after the date on which it is made. Further information concerning MMC and its businesses, including information about factors that could materially affect our results of operations and financial condition, is contained in MMC's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
MMC and its operating companies use their websites to convey meaningful information about their businesses, including the anticipated release of quarterly financial results and the posting of updates of assets under management at Putnam. Monthly updates of total assets under management at Putnam will be posted to the MMC website the first business day following the end of each month. Putnam posts mutual fund and performance data to its website regularly. Assets for most Putnam retail mutual funds are posted approximately two weeks after each month-end. Mutual fund net asset value (NAV) is posted daily. Historical performance and Lipper rankings are also provided. Investors can link to MMC and its operating company websites through www.mmc.com.