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MMC Reports First Quarter 2007 Results

05/08/07

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 PDF of Press Release with Financial Information

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, May 8, 2007 — Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (MMC) today reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2007. Consolidated revenues in the first quarter were $2.8 billion, an increase of 5 percent from the first quarter of 2006, or 1 percent on an underlying basis. Income from continuing operations rose 14 percent to $228 million, or $.41 per share, from $200 million, or $.36 per share last year.

  • Earnings per share was $.47 in the first quarter of 2007, including discontinued operations representing Putnam's results.
  • Noteworthy items, described in the attached supplemental schedules, reduced earnings per share by $.05 in the first quarter of 2007.

"The first quarter demonstrated the strength of MMC as a diversified company," said Michael G. Cherkasky, president and chief executive officer of MMC. "We met our overall corporate performance expectations while we continued to position Marsh for success in the future. The consulting segment continued to perform very well, growing revenues 13 percent and operating income 22 percent on a business with annual revenues approaching $4.5 billion. Kroll performed as expected, with strong growth in its largest operation, technology-enabled solutions. Guy Carpenter produced solid results, driven by continued strong new business. Marsh made significant strides in executing the realignment of its operations, repositioning the business for long-term growth. Change always has a short-term cost, but we are confident we are making the right trade-offs in Marsh. Also in the first quarter, we announced that Great-West Lifeco, a subsidiary of Power Financial Corporation, agreed to purchase Putnam for $3.9 billion in cash. This transaction is expected to close in the second quarter. In recognition of MMC's improving operating performance and greatly strengthened financial position, MMC's Board of Directors has approved a $500 million share repurchase program, which we expect to execute promptly."

Risk and Insurance Services
Risk and insurance services revenues in the first quarter were $1.5 billion, an increase of 1 percent from the first quarter of 2006, or a 2 percent decline on an underlying basis.

Marsh's revenues were $1.1 billion, unchanged from the first quarter of 2006. Geographically, Marsh revenues included $540 million in the Americas, a decline of 5 percent from the prior year's quarter; $524 million in EMEA, an increase of 3 percent; and $78 million in Asia Pacific, an increase of 12 percent. New business increased 7 percent in the first quarter, reflecting growth of 5 percent in the Americas, 8 percent in EMEA, and 17 percent in Asia Pacific. Premium rate declines in the commercial insurance marketplace continued through the first quarter. Underlying revenues declined 3 percent in the quarter, primarily due to lower retention rates in the United States.

Guy Carpenter's revenues increased 4 percent in the first quarter to $292 million, driven by 11 percent growth in new business. These results were achieved despite the decline in U.S. property catastrophe rates from the peak levels seen in the mid-year 2006 renewal season and higher risk retention by clients. Underlying revenues increased 2 percent in the quarter.

Risk Capital Holdings recognized revenues of $49 million in the first quarter, compared with $46 million in the same period of 2006. Revenues in the quarter were derived from MMC's private equity fund investments.

Risk Consulting and Technology
Kroll's revenues increased 1 percent in the first quarter to $235 million and were flat on an underlying basis. The technology-enabled solutions business increased revenues 14 percent to $132 million, due to continued strong performance in background screening and growth in the electronic discovery business. Kroll's consulting business saw revenues decline 12 percent to $103 million, reflecting the expected level of activity in corporate advisory and restructuring.

Consulting
Consulting revenues increased 13 percent to $1.1 billion in the first quarter, with 7 percent growth on an underlying basis.

Mercer Human Resource Consulting increased revenues 8 percent to $800 million in the first quarter, with a 4 percent increase on an underlying basis. This growth was achieved throughout Mercer HR's operations: retirement and investment produced $319 million in revenues, an increase of 11 percent; health and benefits, $183 million, the same level as last year; outsourcing, $176 million, an increase of 13 percent; and talent, $99 million, an increase of 6 percent.

Mercer Specialty Consulting's revenues grew 25 percent to $329 million in the first quarter, with a 15 percent increase on an underlying basis, continuing the strong growth this group has achieved over the last four years. Each of the Mercer Specialty companies contributed to this exceptional performance.

Discontinued Operations
Due to the agreement to sell Putnam, announced on February 1, 2007, Putnam's results for both years are now reflected in discontinued operations. Results from discontinued operations, net of tax, were $40 million, or $.06 per share, in the first quarter of 2007, reflecting Putnam's results for the quarter, compared with $.39 per share last year, primarily due to a $.32 gain from the sale of Sedgwick Claims Management Services.

In the first quarter, Putnam had revenues of $356 million, an increase of 3 percent from the first quarter of 2006. Putnam's assets under management on March 31, 2007 were $188 billion, comprising $119 billion in mutual fund assets and $69 billion in institutional assets. Average assets under management were $189 billion, compared with $190 billion for the first quarter of 2006.

MMC Share Repurchase
The MMC Board of Directors has approved a $500 million share repurchase program.

Other Items
MMC's net debt position, which is total debt less cash and cash equivalents, was $3.5 billion at the end of the first quarter, compared with $3.8 billion at the end of the 2006 first quarter. In the first quarter, MMC increased its quarterly dividend by 12 percent, from $.17 to $.19.

Conference Call
A conference call to discuss first quarter 2007 results will be held today at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. To participate in the teleconference, please dial 800 390 5311 or 719 457 2086 (international). The access code for both numbers is 4680329. The 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. It is the parent company of Marsh, the world's leading risk and insurance services firm; Guy Carpenter, the world's leading risk and reinsurance specialist; Kroll, the world's leading risk consulting company; Mercer, a major global provider of human resource and specialty consulting services; and Putnam Investments, one of the largest investment management companies in the United States. More than 55,000 employees provide analysis, advice, and transactional capabilities to clients in over 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," "should," "will" and "would." For example, we may use forward-looking statements when addressing topics such as: the timing and expected impact of acquisitions and dispositions; future actions by regulators; the outcome of contingencies; changes in our business strategy; changes in our business practices 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 restructuring and other cost-saving initiatives; share repurchase programs; and MMC's cash flow and liquidity.

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 economic and reputational impact of litigation and regulatory proceedings described in the notes to our financial statements;

  • the fact that MMC's agreement to sell Putnam, announced on February 1, 2007, is subject to a number of closing conditions, some of which are outside of MMC's control, and we cannot be certain that the transaction will close as planned or that the announced sale price will not be adjusted pursuant to the terms of the sale agreement;

  • Putnam's performance between now and the closing of the announced sale later in 2007, including the actual and relative investment performance of Putnam's mutual funds and institutional and other advisory accounts, Putnam's net fund flows and the level of Putnam's assets under management;

  • our ability to effectively deploy MMC's proceeds from the sale of Putnam, and the timing of our use of those proceeds;

  • the fact that our estimate of the dilutive impact of the sale of Putnam on MMC's future earnings per share is necessarily based on a set of current management assumptions, including assumptions about MMC's use of sale proceeds and the operating results of Putnam and MMC's other subsidiaries;

  • our ability to achieve profitable revenue growth in our risk and insurance services segment by providing both traditional insurance brokerage services and additional risk advisory services;

  • our ability to retain existing clients and attract new business, and our ability to retain key employees;

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

  • 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 such as 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;

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

  • our ability to implement our restructuring initiatives and otherwise reduce or control expenses and achieve operating efficiencies, including our ability to generate anticipated savings and operational improvements from the actions we announced in September 2006;

  • the impact of competition, including with respect to pricing and the emergence of new competitors;

  • fluctuations in the value of Risk Capital Holdings' investments;

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

  • our exposure to potential liabilities arising from errors and omissions claims against us;

  • 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;

  • the impact on our operating results of foreign exchange fluctuations;

  • changes in applicable tax or accounting requirements, including any potential income statement effects from the application of FIN 48 ("Accounting for Uncertainty in Income Taxes") and SFAS 142 ("Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets"); 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.