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JLT sees modest growth in 2006


LONDON — Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group P.L.C. announced a small improvement in revenues for 2006.

The London-based broker's chief executive Dominic Burke announced "an overall modest improvement" in its preliminary results for 2006.

Turnover for continuing operations was £459.5 million ($882.7 million) — an increase of 1% on the 2005 figure. This excludes the company's discontinued U.S. operations which were sold during the course of the year, the company said.

Profit before tax in continuing operations was £90.8 million ($174.4 million), compared with £71.2 million ($136.8 million) in 2005.

During 2006, the broker made 100 job cuts in London and announced a temporary pay freeze in its JLT Risk Solutions division.

In risk and insurance operations, turnover for continuing operations was up by 2% to £379.2 million ($728.4 million).

Trading profit was down to £61.4 million ($117.9 million) from £64.7 million ($124.3 million) in 2005. And profit before tax was £79.4 million - up from £77.3 million ($148.5 million) the previous year.

Mr. Burke blamed the weakening dollar and competitive trading environment for stifling growth.

"In everything bar the North American cat market, there is greater capacity chasing fewer and fewer risks," Mr. Burke said.

Adrian Girling, chief executive, Jardine Lloyd Thompson Corporate Risks, noted: "The claims environment is benign to say the least. So people are going for growth by cutting rates. I can't think of a U.K. line of business that has increased rates."

The company said that while it had no specific takeover targets in mind currently, it did not rule out future acquisitions.

"We've made no secret of the fact that we're interested in the possibility of expansion through acquisitions in areas where we have good infrastructure. But we've the potential and opportunity within the Group for that not to be the only strategy," said William Nabarro, the broker's commercial director.