Brokerage reports $27m net loss due to ‘debt extinguishment’

Brokerage reports $27m net loss due to ‘debt extinguishment’

Willis Group recorded a net loss from continuing operations of $27m, or $(0.15) per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2013 after recording a $60m loss related to early extinguishment of debt and an expense of $1m for related fees.

These results compare to reported earnings per diluted share of $0.15 in the third quarter of 2012. Foreign currency movements had no net impact on earnings per diluted share during the quarter.

The international brokerage recorded third-quarter organic commissions and fees growth of 5.7% for the three months to September 30, compared to 2.2% in the same period last year.

Adjusted net income from continuing operations, which excludes the after-tax impact of the previously noted charges and other items was $0.19 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2013 compared to $0.22 per diluted share, in the same period a year ago.

However, both reported and adjusted results in the third quarter of 2012 would have been $0.07 per diluted share lower had the previously disclosed change to remuneration policy been effective from the beginning of 2012.

The group’s three business units each contributed positively to this quarter’s performance.
Willis International, which includes Asia and Australasia, achieved 7.8% organic growth in commissions and fees in the third quarter 2013 compared with the same period in 2012. Operations in Asia grew high double digits and Australasia was up low double digits.

“Once again we delivered strong top line results, our fourth consecutive quarter of mid-single digit organic growth with positive contributions from each of our businesses,” said Willis Group CEO, Dominic Casserley. “We believe this is in line with the goals we laid out at our Investor Conference in July of growing revenues with positive operating leverage to improve cash flow and deliver strong shareholder returns.”

Casserley added: “Also, during the quarter, we strengthened our balance sheet by effectively refinancing portions of our nearer term debt into new debt with maturities out ten and thirty years. We accomplished that while decreasing our overall debt costs.”