Willis Group reported total commissions and fees improved to $1bn in the fourth quarter of 2013, was up 5.1% from $959m in the prior year quarter - even though commissions and fees were unfavourably impacted by $1m of foreign currency movements.
Organic commissions and fees growth in the fourth quarter of 2013 was 3.7% compared to the same quarter in 2012. Excluding the net impact of the revenue recognition adjustments, fourth quarter organic commissions and fees growth would have been 4.8%.
Willis International’s Australasian business recorded “mid-single digit” growth in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012. The international segment as a whole achieved 3.0% organic growth in commissions and fees in the fourth quarter 2013 compared with the same period in 2012.
Organic growth in the quarter was decreased by a $16m adjustment to align the recognition of revenue in China with the rest of the Group. Excluding the 510 basis point impact of this adjustment, organic growth in International would have been 8.1%.
Operations in Western Europe were strong in the fourth quarter, recording high single digit growth with positive contributions from almost all countries across the region. Eastern Europe recorded growth in the mid-teens.
Operations in the U.K. declined low single digits. Latin America operations grew low double digits with positive contributions from a number of the larger countries in the region. Operations in Asia were down, due to the revenue recognition adjustment in the China business. Excluding the impact of this adjustment, Asia would have recorded strong double digit growth.
Willis Group reported total revenues which include commissions and fees, investment income and other income, were $1bn in the fourth quarter of 2013, an increase of 5.5% from $904m in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Willis Group reported fourth quarter 2013 net income from continuing operations of $75m, or $0.37 per diluted share. These results were negatively impacted by a $0.05 per diluted share
The Global segment, which comprises Willis Re, Specialty, Placement, and Willis Capital Markets and Advisory, achieved 1.4% organic growth in commissions and fees in the fourth quarter of 2013, compared with the fourth quarter of 2012. Global Specialty grew mid-single digits. Most notable were the strong performances from Property & Casualty and Construction, and Financial & Executive Risks during the quarter.
Commissions and fees at Willis Re were down low single digits in the fourth quarter of 2013, the seasonally smallest quarter for this business. Willis Capital Markets and Advisory performed solidly in the quarter against a challenging comparison due to the very strong result it recorded in the year ago quarter.
Total reported expenses were $849m in the fourth quarter of 2013, compared with $1.8bn in the fourth quarter of 2012, a decrease of 53%.