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Willis results rise on streamlining efforts


NEW YORK--Willis Group Holdings Ltd. reported improved results in the first nine months of 2006 while also announcing a series of initiatives designed to drive future growth and make the brokerage more efficient.

Those initiatives, which include an international efficiency review, data center consolidation and real estate rationalization, resulted in the elimination of 400 positions that were either eliminated or identified in the third quarter, Willis said.

Total revenues at London-based Willis rose 6.0% to $1.81 billion in the three quarters, while net income was up 33.2% to $301 million.

Results included a $91 million gain in the third quarter relating to the sale of Willis' current London headquarters, as well as $84 million in expenses relating to the launch of the new initiatives. Nearly a third of the $84 million--or $25 million--related to severance costs.