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Willis Towers Watson reports increased Q1 profits

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Willis Towers Watson P.L.C. reported higher profits in the first quarter of 2017 as the company continues to integrate operations after its merger. 

The London-based brokerage’s consolidated revenue in the first quarter of 2017 was $2.32 billion, a 3.8% increase from $2.23 billion in the first quarter of 2016, the company said in its first quarter earnings report on Thursday.

Net income in the first quarter of 2017 rose 43.7% to $352 million from $245 million in the same period of 2016, according to the company’s earnings release. The first quarter is a seasonally strong quarter due to the renewal periods for some lines of business, the company noted. 

The $18 billion deal that brought together London-based brokerage Willis Group Holdings P.L.C. and New York-based consulting firm Towers Watson & Co. was completed in January 2016.

“As planned, our integration efforts remain ongoing and I expect that we will continue to navigate challenges over the next two years,” John Haley, WTW’s CEO, said in a statement on Thursday. “However, with the strong foundation of our core businesses and the opportunities of our integrated offerings, I remain confident we will achieve the potential we envisioned when creating Willis Towers Watson.”

The company’s human capital and benefits segment experienced a 2.7% increase in commissions and fees in the first quarter of 2017 to $951 million, up from $926 million in the same period last year, amid increasing retirement revenues in Great Britain and Western Europe and higher demand for actuarial consulting projects in the quarter, according to the earnings report. 

The corporate risk and broking segment’s commissions and fees rose 1.4% in the first quarter to $650 million from $641 million in the first quarter of 2016 amid regulatory changes and significant new business in China and Hong Kong, as well as strong organic growth in Western Europe, but North America organic revenue declined slightly from the strong first quarter of 2016, according to the report. 

The broker’s investment, risk and reinsurance segment’s commissions and fees increased 0.8% to $502 million from $498 million in the same period last year, according to the report.