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MMC profits double despite brokerage slide


NEW YORK—Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. reported higher overall revenues and profits in 2006, although revenues slid at brokerage unit Marsh Inc.

Total revenues, which include its investment management unit, increased 3.0% to $11.9 billion in 2006, while net income more than doubled to $990 million compared to 2005, New York-based MMC said Tuesday.

Mercer Specialty Consulting reported the biggest revenue increase for MMC with a 19.4% rise to $1.2 billion, while Kroll Inc. reported a 12.3% increase to $979 million.

2006 revenues from brokerage unit Marsh Inc., however, dropped 3.9% to $4.39 billion, MMC said.

In a statement, Michael G. Cherkasky, MMC's president and chief executive officer, noted that despite a 1% drop in revenues at Marsh in the fourth quarter of 2006, new business revenues "were the highest" since the first half of 2004.

"In light of this, we are encouraged about Marsh's prospects in 2007," Mr. Cherkasky said.

For the full year, new business increased 10% at Marsh, including a 9% growth in the Americas, MMC said.

Earlier this month, MMC announced that it intends to sell its Putnam Investments unit to Great-West Lifeco Inc. for $3.9 billion in cash (BI Feb. 5). Putnam reported $1.39 billion in 2006 revenues, an 8.0% decline.