Bloomberg News

Willis Group Drops as Broker’s Margin Down on U.S. Slump

October 25, 2011

(Updates with share price in the second paragraph.)

Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Willis Group Holdings Plc, the third-largest insurance broker, fell the most since August after quarterly results missed some analysts’ estimates on a slump in North American operations.

The broker dropped $3.59, or 8.8 percent, to $37.08 in New York Stock Exchange Composite trading.

The adjusted operating margin fell to 13.8 percent in the third quarter from 14.5 percent a year earlier, the London-based company said in a statement late yesterday. Cliff Gallant, an analyst at KBW Inc., had expected 16.7 percent. Net income slipped to $60 million from $64 million a year earlier.

“The North America segment continues to face headwinds from ongoing softness in the overall insurance rate environment and a lack of sustained improvement in the U.S. economy,” Willis said in the statement.

--Editors: Dan Kraut, William Ahearn

To contact the reporter on this story: Maryellen Tighe in New York at Mtighe6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Kraut at dkraut2@bloomberg.net


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