JLT upbeat on outlook as trading performance meets expectations

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 November, 2010, 12:00am

Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group (JLT), which is 32 per cent owned by Jardine Matheson Holdings, said its overall trading performance for the period from July 1 to November 8 was in line with its expectations, without giving numbers.

The London-listed company said its organic growth during this period was 'encouraging' and it was on track to achieve financial growth for the whole of this year - and to fulfil its strategic and financial objectives.

'As we enter the final quarter of the year, we remain optimistic about the prospects for the company,' said JLT chief executive Dominic Burke.

JLT is an international firm engaged in insurance, risk and an employee benefit consultancy, headquartered in London, with over 6,200 employees in more than 130 countries.

'Our risk and insurance business is performing well although the insurance rating environment remains soft in most classes. Employee benefits is delivering a solid trading performance,' JLT said.

Its financial position remains strong, with low net debt and extensive committed credit facilities, the company said.

Its net debt increased from GBP61 million (HK$763.29 million) on June 30, 2009 to GBP102 million on June 30 this year, while net assets increased from GBP224 million to GBP260 million.

It has committed bank facilities of GBP258 million to December 2011.

On July 30 at a presentation, Burke said the US domestic insurance market for general property and casualty risks was the softest it has been since the terrorist attack in the United States on September 11, 2001, with little likelihood of improvement in the foreseeable future.

JLT's underlying trading profit grew 22 per cent to GBP70.7 million in the first half, while turnover rose 21 per cent to GBP377.8 million and organic turnover gained 6 per cent.

Although trading profit increased in the first six months, at constant exchange rates that growth was only 3 per cent - partly because of hiring costs and acquisitions.

In terms of JLT's retail operations, its Asia business grew 14 per cent to GBP29.7 million in the first half, while its Latin American business soared 42 per cent to GBP19.9 million.

Its continental European business increased 20 per cent to GBP10.4 million.

JLT was formed in February 1997 through the merger of Jardine Insurance Brokers and Lloyd Thompson Group, which is listed in London. Jardine Insurance Brokers had a significant presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

On track

JLT says its financial position is strong, with low net debt

The firm's underlying trading profit grew 22 per cent in the first half to this much: GBP70m