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MMC Reports First Quarter 2008 Results



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NEW YORK, May 7, 2008 — Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (MMC) today reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2008.

Consolidated revenue was $3 billion, up 8 percent from the first quarter of 2007, or 2 percent on an underlying basis, which measures the change in revenue before the impact of acquisitions and dispositions, using consistent currency exchange rates.

In connection with its assessment of Kroll, MMC tested the related goodwill on its balance sheet. This resulted in a non-cash goodwill impairment charge of $425 million, or $.81 per share, in the first quarter. There is no tax effect related to the impairment charge, nor any impact on MMC's cash flows, tangible equity or debt covenants. As a result of the goodwill impairment charge, MMC reported a first-quarter net loss of $210 million, or $.40 per share.

Excluding the goodwill impairment charge and including discontinued operations, net income was $215 million, or $.41 per share, compared with $268 million, or $.47 per share, in the first quarter of 2007. First quarter 2008 earnings per share, on a non-GAAP basis as presented in the attached supplemental schedules, was $.46.

Brian Duperreault, president and chief executive officer of MMC, said: "MMC had solid revenue growth in the quarter, primarily driven by Mercer and Marsh. Mercer's results reflected a continuation of strong revenue performance with growth throughout all of its businesses. Marsh grew revenue on both a reported and underlying basis, generated strong new business results and showed marked improvement in client revenue retention - all important indicators of its progress. As part of our review of Kroll, we determined that the corporate advisory and restructuring operations should be managed separately; additionally, we recorded a non-cash goodwill impairment charge. We continue to evaluate Kroll to identify those businesses that have the greatest growth potential within MMC's portfolio. Overall, actions taken across MMC's businesses during the quarter should improve operating performance and profitability."

Risk and Insurance Services
MMC's Risk and Insurance Services segment revenue in the first quarter of 2008 was $1.5 billion, an increase of 2 percent from the first quarter of 2007. Operating income decreased to $240 million from $259 million in the first quarter of 2007, due to a reduction of $43 million, or approximately $.05 per share, from Risk Capital Holdings. This decrease contributed to a 4 percent decline in underlying segment revenue.

In the quarter, Marsh's revenue was $1.2 billion, up 7 percent from last year, with the strongest growth in Asia Pacific. Underlying revenue grew 1 percent, including 3 percent growth in EMEA; 8 percent growth in Asia Pacific; and 3 percent growth in Latin America. Marsh's new business production increased 10 percent, a continuation of the strong performance achieved over the last two years. Marsh's results were achieved in an environment of significant price competition in the global commercial property and casualty insurance marketplace.

Guy Carpenter's first quarter revenue was $273 million, a decline of 6 percent from the prior year's quarter and 8 percent on an underlying basis. Reinsurance premium rates continued to decline across most coverages globally, with clients' risk retention levels remaining high.

MMC's Consulting segment revenue grew 15 percent to $1.3 billion in the first quarter, or 8 percent on an underlying basis. Operating income was $151 million, an increase of 10 percent from $138 million in the first quarter of 2007.

Mercer increased revenue 16 percent to $925 million in the first quarter, with strong revenue growth achieved throughout its operations. On an underlying basis, Mercer's revenue increased 9 percent in the quarter. Mercer's consulting operation, with revenue of $659 million, increased 7 percent; outsourcing, with revenue of $188 million, grew 12 percent; and investment consulting and management, with revenue of $78 million, grew 23 percent.

Oliver Wyman's revenue grew 13 percent to $370 million in the first quarter, or 6 percent on an underlying basis.

Risk Consulting and Technology
MMC's Risk Consulting and Technology segment recorded an operating loss of $410 million as a result of the goodwill impairment charge. Excluding this charge, and noteworthy items of $3 million, adjusted operating income was $18 million.

Segment revenue was $259 million, an increase of 10 percent from $235 million in the first quarter of 2007. On an underlying basis, revenue increased 3 percent in the current quarter.

Kroll's revenue was $220 million in the first quarter, an increase of 14 percent from the year-ago quarter, or 5 percent on an underlying basis. This growth was driven by an 11 percent increase in risk mitigation and response and a 7 percent increase in litigation support and data recovery, partially offset by a decline of 2 percent in background screening.

Revenue for MMC's corporate advisory and restructuring business, which now operates as a separate business within the Risk Consulting and Technology segment, was $39 million in the first quarter, a decline of 7 percent. This performance reflected growth in the United States that was more than offset by a decline in Europe.

Other Items
In March 2008, MMC received 10.8 million shares of its common stock, completing the $800 million accelerated share repurchase transaction funded in August 2007. Including the initial receipt of 21.3 million shares, MMC purchased a total of 32.1 million shares under this transaction. MMC's average shares outstanding decreased from 562 million in the first quarter 2007 to 519 million in the comparable period of 2008, and ended the quarter at 511 million shares outstanding.

MMC's net debt position, which is total debt less cash and cash equivalents, was $2.3 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2008, compared with $3.5 billion at the end of the year-ago quarter.

Conference Call
A conference call to discuss first quarter 2008 results will be held today at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. To participate in the teleconference, please dial 877 874 1569. Callers from outside the United States should dial 719 325 4805. The access code for both numbers is 7277403.The live audio webcast may be accessed at www.mmc.com. A replay of the webcast will be available approximately two hours after the event at the same web address.

MMC is a global professional services firm providing advice and solutions in the areas of risk, strategy and human capital. It is the parent company of a number of the world's leading risk experts and specialty consultants, including Marsh, the insurance broker and risk advisor; Guy Carpenter, the risk and reinsurance specialist; Mercer, the provider of HR and related financial advice and services; Oliver Wyman, the management consultancy; and Kroll, the risk consulting firm. With more than 55,000 employees worldwide and annual revenue exceeding $11 billion, MMC provides analysis, advice and transactional capabilities to clients in more than 100 countries. Its stock (ticker symbol: MMC) is listed on the New York, Chicago and London stock exchanges. MMC's website address is www.mmc.com.

This press release contains "forward-looking statements," as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements, which express management's current views concerning future events or results, use words like "anticipate," "assume," "believe," "continue," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "plan," "project" and similar terms, and future or conditional tense verbs like "could," "may," "might," "should," "will" and "would." For example, we may use forward-looking statements when addressing topics such as: changes in our business strategies and methods of generating revenue; the development and performance of our services and products; market and industry conditions, including competitive and pricing trends; changes in the composition or level of MMC's revenues; our cost structure and the outcome of cost-saving initiatives; dividend policy and share repurchase programs; the expected impact of acquisitions and dispositions; pension obligations; cash flow and liquidity; future actions by regulators; the outcome of contingencies; the impact of changes in accounting rules; and changes in senior management.

Forward-looking statements are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in our forward-looking statements include:

  • the challenges we face in achieving profitable revenue growth and improving operating margins at Marsh;

  • the extent to which we retain existing clients and attract new business, and our ability to incentivize and retain key employees;

  • the impact on risk and insurance services commission revenues of changes in the availability of, and the premiums insurance carriers charge for, insurance and reinsurance products, including the impact on premium rates and market capacity attributable to catastrophic events like hurricanes;

  • the impact on renewals in our risk and insurance services segment of pricing trends in particular insurance markets, fluctuations in the general level of economic activity and decisions by insureds with respect to the level of risk they will self-insure;

  • revenue fluctuations in risk and insurance services relating to the effect of new and lost business production and the timing of policy inception dates;

  • the impact of fluctuations in the value of Risk Capital Holdings' investments on profitability in our risk and insurance services segment;

  • the impact on our consulting segment of pricing trends, utilization rates, legislative changes affecting client demand, and the general economic environment;

  • the impact of competition, including with respect to pricing, the emergence of new competitors, and the fact that many of Marsh's competitors are not constrained in their ability to receive "market service" compensation;

  • the ultimate economic impact on MMC of contingencies described in the notes to our financial statements, including the risk of a significant adverse outcome in the shareholder lawsuit against MMC concerning the late 2004 decline in MMC's share price;

  • our exposure to potential liabilities arising from errors and omissions claims against us, for which we increasingly must self-insure;

  • our ability to meet our financing needs by generating cash from operations and accessing external financing sources, including the potential impact of rating agency actions on our cost of financing or ability to borrow;

  • our ability to make strategic acquisitions and dispositions and to integrate, and realize expected synergies, savings or strategic benefits from, the businesses we acquire;

  • the impact on net income of foreign exchange and/or interest rate fluctuations;

  • changes in applicable tax or accounting requirements;

  • potential income statement effects from the application of FIN 48 ("Accounting for Uncertainty in Income Taxes") and SFAS 142 ("Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets"), including the effect of any subsequent adjustments to the estimates MMC uses in applying these accounting standards; and

  • the impact of, and potential challenges in complying with, legislation and regulation in the jurisdictions in which we operate, particularly given the global scope of our businesses and the possibility of conflicting regulatory requirements across the jurisdictions in which we do business.

The factors identified above are not exhaustive. MMC and its subsidiaries operate in a dynamic business environment in which new risks may emerge frequently. Accordingly, MMC cautions readers not to place undue reliance on its forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the dates on which they are made. MMC undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances arising after the date on which it is made. Further information concerning MMC and its businesses, including information about factors that could materially affect our results of operations and financial condition, is contained in MMC's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the "Risk Factors" section of MMC's most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K.