A 1% rise in pre-tax profits may not grab too many headlines, but insurance brokerage giant Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT) has high hopes for the immediate future.
Yesterday, the company reported its profit rise, helped in part by the turnaround of its UK employee benefits business, but held back by its expansion in the USA. However, it is in the US where the London-based broker, which has operations in both Australia and New Zealand, is particularly hopeful, thanks in large to the arrival of President Donald Trump whose policies it believes will boost the building sector.
“In the construction space, with Trump talking about the need to rebuild America and its infrastructure, that’s obviously a very positive outlook,” said chief executive Dominic Burke in an interview with Reuters.
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“Oil prices are seen to be reasonably stable ... this is also coinciding with the cost of exploration coming down.”
In addition, Burke added that he was hopeful of a market turn that would further boost business.
“There is not much room left for these rates to go any softer, it seems to be heading towards an inevitable turn in the market,” he stated.
It was investment in the US that crimped the company’s profits last year, but it believes it is on track to make its US business profitable by 2019.
Overall, JLT stated pre-tax profit totaled £172.6 million (approximately AUD$280 million) in the year ending December 31, slightly below forecasts, with revenue rising 9% to £1.26 billion.
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