Marsh & McLennan Reports Q2 Loss

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Marsh & McLennan Cos Inc (MMC.N), the No. 2 global insurance broker, reported a second-quarter net loss on Wednesday, hurt by a writedown of the value of its security consulting business.

Excluding one-time items, it posted a profit that matched the average Wall Street forecast.

The net loss was $193 million, or 37 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $65 million, or 12 cents a share, which also included a charge.

Excluding special items, it earned 33 cents a share, in line with analysts’ expectations, according to Reuters Estimates.

The broker said it wrote down the value of its Kroll security consulting business, resulting in a non-cash charge of $315 million, or about 60 cents a share.

It also recorded a loss of $31 million stemming from the declining value of its private equity investments.

The New York-based company, which competes with Aon Corp (AOC.N) in helping businesses find commercial insurance coverage, said consolidated revenue fell 13 percent $2.6 billion, below the average estimate of $2.76 billion.

Revenue within its main business unit, insurance brokerage Marsh Inc, fell 7 percent to $1.1 billion on lower insurance premiums.

Insurance rates have been falling in recent years, costing brokers who are largely compensated by commissions. In response, most brokers have curbed spending.

Marsh & McLennan’s expenses in the quarter were down 7 percent from a year earlier to $2.65 billion, boosting the underlying profitability of some businesses.

The company’s shares rose nearly 3 percent on Tuesday to $21.50. The stock has traded in a range of $17.23 to $35.00 in the last year. (Reporting by Lilla Zuill; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and John Wallace)