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Willis Towers Watson sees third-quarter revenue rise

Willis Towers Watson sees third-quarter revenue rise

Willis Towers Watson PLC reported revenue of $1.9 billion in the third quarter of 2018, up 3.0% compared with the same quarter last year excluding the effect of recent accounting changes, the broker said in its earnings statement Friday.

Like several other insurance brokers, Willis Towers Watson adopted new accounting rules from the Financial Accounting Standards Board in 2018 that affect when certain revenues are recognized in financial results. The brokerage provided figures in its earning statement that exclude the effect of the change in revenue standards when comparing against prior-year results.

Excluding the revenue standard, revenue for the three months ended Sept. 30, 2018, was $1.9 billion, compared with $1.85 billion for the same period in the prior year. Including the revenue standard, revenue was $1.86 billion

The broker swung to a third-quarter profit of $85 million from a net loss of $54 million in the year-ago period, excluding the revenue standard.

Including the revenue standard, net income attributable to Willis Towers Watson for the third quarter of 2018 was $44 million, the statement said.

Organic growth for the quarter was 3%, said John Haley, Willis Towers Watson’s CEO, speaking on the company’s earnings call Friday morning.

For the quarter, total segment revenues grew 5% on an organic basis, Mr. Haley said.

The broker’s corporate risk and broking, or CRB, segment, its main commercial property/casualty broking unit, saw organic growth of 4% in the third quarter, Mr. Haley said.

Within the segment, North America had 6% organic revenue growth in the third quarter “with strong results across all lines of business,” Mr. Haley said. International saw 10% third quarter organic growth on new business wins in Asia and Latin America, while organic growth in Western Europe was 3%.

Britain saw a 2% decline in organic growth, and “we continue to see London-market challenges,” Mr. Haley said, though he struck an upbeat tone, saying Willis continues “to be optimistic about the momentum in our CRB business going forward and as we close out the year.”

Looking forward, “for the company, we continue to expect organic growth to be approximately 4% for the segments,” said Mike Burwell, chief financial officer, speaking on the call. He added that revenue growth in the corporate broking segment is expected to be in the low single digits.

“I’m very pleased with our progress,” Mr. Haley said summing up. “We produced strong earnings growth in the third quarter and are on track to deliver excellent financial performance in 2018.”





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