Insurance broker JLT's FY underlying pretax profit falls 7%

[BENGALURU] Insurance and reinsurance broker Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group Plc reported a fall in full-year underlying pretax profit, hurt mainly by investment made in its US speciality business.

The company, which advises mainly on risk management and employee benefits insurance, said underlying pretax profit fell 7 per cent to 170.1 million pounds (S$333 million) in the year ended Dec 31.

Total revenue rose 5 per cent to 1.15 billion pounds.

Underlying trading profit fell 5 per cent to 187.5 million pounds, hurt by both investments made in its US speciality business and challenges faced by its UK and Ireland employee benefits business.

The company said net investment in JLT USA was 20.5 million pounds in the year.

Jardine Lloyd Thomson said last year that a one-off structural shift away from commissions within the UK employee benefits market would hurt its UK Employee Benefits margin and the group's profit for the year.

The changes force financial advisers to charge clients a fee for their services, rather than being paid a commission by asset managers, reducing the chances of firms paying higher commissions to have advisers push their funds.

Full-year revenues in the UK and Ireland Employee Benefits business fell 9 per cent to 167.4 million pounds, JLT said on Tuesday.

The slower growth was partially offset by growth in the firm's risk and insurance business, where revenue rose 6 per cent to 866.6 million pounds.

The unit accounts for 75 per cent of JLT's group revenue.

JLT said it would pay a total cash dividend of 30.6 pence per share, up from 28.9 pence per share a year earlier.


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