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WILLIS CORROON GROUP plc ANNOUNCES PRELIMINARY RESULTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED DEC. 31, 1992

 NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Willis Corroon Group plc (NYSE: WCG) announced a pre-tax profit for the year ended Dec. 31, 1992, of 42.5 million pounds, composed of 68.2 million pounds earned by its continuing operations and a loss of 25.7 million pounds ttributable to discontinued UK underwriting which has been in run-off since 1991.
 Profit before tax was 1.4 million pounds higher (3 percent) than for 1991 as presented on the FRS 3 basis used for the 1992 results.
 The turnover of the continuing operations, consisting principally of worldwide risk management and insurance and reinsurance broking, rose by 5 percent over that for 1991 (1 percent in underlying terms) to 607 million pounds; expenses of these operations rose by 9 percent (2 percent underlying).
 The Group Chairman Roger Elliott and Chief Executive Richard Miller, in a joint comment, said: "1992 was a difficult year for the group. Turnover growth was held back by the combination of low premium rates in the USA and reduced capacity in the London market, as well as by weak economic activity worldwide. Net investment income fell by 14.6 million pounds (23 percent) as a result of sharply lower interest rates.
 "All these factors put pressure on the profitability of our mainstream operations. The need to add to the reserves of the discontinued UK underwriting business came as a considerable additional disappointment.
 "1993 has started well. Our plans for the year take into account the actions we took in 1991 and 1992, which together with other initiatives will help to increase profitability. We have made many investments over two years; in the short term they have inevitably increased expenses more than revenue -- in 1993 they are beginning to deliver positive returns. The pace of development can now reduce, although we will continue to invest in attractive opportunities to enhance service to our clients.
 "We maintained during 1992 the same rate of dividend as had been set in 1990, knowing that many of the adverse influences on our 1992 profits were of a transitory nature and that we were taking a great deal of positive action which would produce good returns in the future.
 "This rate of dividend cannot be sustained following the loss of reserves caused by the substantial deterioration in our discontinued UK underwriting operations. Your board has decided, therefore, that it is in the interests of shareholders and of the group to set a lower level of distribution which will enable the group to build and maintain balance sheet reserves and cash resources as a foundation for growth and profitability.
 "We have accordingly declared a first quarter interim dividend for 1993 of 1.65 pence and in the absence of currently unforeseen circumstances we expect to pay similar dividends for the ensuing three quarters of the year."
 The results of continuing operations include those for the group's insurance companies in the USA, which continue to perform well. These results also include profits of 0.5 million pounds earned by Coronation Insurance Company, in Canada, which was sold at the turn of the year for 3.7 million pounds.
 The group's results are affected by movements in exchange rates, especially between sterling and the US dollar. The group adheres to a long-established policy of moderating its exposure by selling forward part of the foreign currency revenue of its UK broking operations. In 1992 an average exchange rate was achieved on these sales of $1.68, compared with $1.64 achieved in 1991 and with an average 1992 market "spot" rate of $1.77. The benefit gained by hedging compared with selling at the spot rate was 4.3 million pounds.
 Elliott and Miller continued: "In 1992 the insurance business has continued to be affected by the weak performance of the world's major economies. Many of our clients have suffered from low demand, high financing costs, uncertain outlook and the need to cut back employment. This inevitably affects their demand for our services and for those of insurers.
 "Expectations that the huge losses borne by US insurers would give rise to a turn in premium rates have not yet been met. Many of the classes of risk typically written in the London market, whether direct or reinsurance, have had substantial rate rises, with underwriting capacity greatly reduced for some classes such as catastrophe reinsurance.
 "In these circumstances we are pleased with the performance of many parts of the group: in particular, Willis Faber & Dumas Limited has produced turnover growth of 13 percent despite the disappearance of much capacity in the London market, while Willis Corroon Limited's turnover has grown by 8 percent despite the continuing UK recession. These are most creditable results.
 "We have held expense growth in underlying terms to 2 percent by controls on staff numbers, pay and all other expense items. Underlying headcount has been reduced by over 500, mostly in the USA. Additional expense growth of 7 percent results from the numerous new operations in the group, from severance and redundancy payments, and from other items which do not form part of a true comparison with 1991. Much of this additional expense arises from the re-organization of our US broking operations, which are now well positioned to take advantage of the group's extensive resources and opportunities.
 "The further loss in our own UK underwriting companies, which we decided to close in 1991, results primarily from claims on the underwriting years 1989 to 1991, and includes additional provisions for irrecoverable claims against reinsurers.
 "Last year we reported that property market conditions had affected the current market value of the group's principal freehold properties. During 1992 the property market has deteriorated further, particularly for commercial properties within London. This has meant that the current aggregate market value of these properties is approximately 32 million pounds below their net book value.
 "The principal freehold properties are for long-term occupation by the group; during 1992 they have been augmented by the opening of Willis Corroon Plaza in Nashville and the commencement of the modernization of our Ten Trinity Square head office.
 "The directors believe that, after considering all material factors, including the group's long-term commitment to, and continuing investment in, these major corporate headquarters, the current market value does not indicate any permanent reduction in the value of these properties to the group.
 "In the past year the board has changed significantly, with three retirements and the appointment of five new executive directors, each with responsibility for key business areas across the group. They add considerable operational expertise and vigor to the board.
 "We are confident that the steps we have taken during 1992 were necessary for the realization of the group's objectives, which will continue to be actively progressed."
 WILLIS CORROON GROUP plc
 Unaudited results for the year ended Dec. 31, 1992
 1991 1992 1992 1991
 US$(m) US$(m) Pounds(m) Pounds(m)
 (a) (a)
 Group turnover
 871.7 916.9 Continuing operations 607.2 577.3
 57.1 29.1 Discontinued operations 19.3 37.8
 928.8 946.0 Total 626.5 615.1
 Operating profit
 151.9 103.4 Continuing operations 68.5 100.6
 (50.6) (38.0) Discontinued operations (25.2) (33.5)
 101.3 65.4 Operating profit 43.3 67.1
 Provision on cessation of UK
 (43.2) --- underwriting --- (28.6)
 2.3 0.5 Profit on disposal of operations 0.3 1.5
 Share of profit of associated
 7.6 6.6 undertakings 4.4 5.0
 (5.9) (8.3) Interest payable (5.5) (3.9)
 Profit on ordinary activities
 62.1 64.2 before taxation 42.5 41.1
 Tax on profit on ordinary
 20.2 (23.9) activities (15.8) 13.4
 Profit on ordinary activities
 82.3 40.3 after taxation 26.7 54.5
 (0.6) (0.3) Minority interests (0.2) (0.4)
 81.7 40.0 Profit for the financial year 26.5 54.1
 (80.8) (82.3) Dividends (54.5) (53.5)
 0.9 (42.3) Profit/(loss) retained (28.0) 0.6
 Earnings per share on total
 20.1cts. 9.7cts. operations 6.4 pence 13.3 pence
 Earnings per share on continuing
 25.5cts.16.2cts. operations 10.7 pence 16.9 pence
 Average number of shares in
 issue (millions) 414.7 405.5
 (a) The results for both years have been translated into U.S. dollars at the 1992 year-end rate of US$1.51 equals 1 pound. This is not the rate used for the original presentation of 1991 results. No adjustments have been made to restate the results to comply with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.
 WILLIS CORROON GROUP plc
 Quarterly results
 Period end exchange rate equals $1.51
 1992 1991
 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
 $m $m $m $m $m $m $m $m
 Turnover
 Continuing opers. 264.4 218.2 206.7 227.6 235.0 225.0 211.6 200.2
 Discont. opers. 0.0 0.0 0.0 29.1 12.2 0.0 0.0 44.8
 Total 264.4 218.2 206.7 256.7 247.2 225.0 211.6 245.1
 Operating profit
 Continuing opers. 60.2 19.5 11.5 12.2 67.0 43.9 28.4 12.5
 Discont. opers. 0.0 0.0 0.0 (38.0) (2.1) (5.1) 0.6 (43.9)
 Total 60.2 19.5 11.5 (25.8) 64.9 38.8 29.0 (31.4)
 Provision on cessation
 of UK underwriting 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 (43.2)
 Profit on disposal of
 operations 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.3
 Share of profit of
 associates 5.1 0.8 0.9 (0.2) 3.8 0.8 1.8 1.2
 Interest payable (1.8) (2.1) (2.1) (2.3) (2.3) (1.2) (1.2) (1.2)
 Profit on ordinary
 activities before
 taxation 63.6 18.1 10.3 (27.8) 66.4 38.4 29.6 (72.3)
 Tax on profit on
 ordinary activs. (22.2) (6.9) (3.8) 9.0 (23.1)(14.5)(10.6) 68.4
 Profit on ordinary
 activities after
 taxation 41.4 11.2 6.5 (18.7) 43.3 23.9 19.0 (3.9)
 Minority interests 0.0 (0.5) 0.3 (0.2) (0.3) (0.2) 0.2 (0.3)
 Profit for the
 period 41.4 10.7 6.8 (18.9) 43.0 23.7 19.2 (4.2)
 Earnings per share on
 total operation 10.1 2.4 1.7 (4.5) 10.7 5.7 4.8 (1.2)
 Earnings per share on
 cont. operation 10.1 2.4 1.7 2.0 11.2 6.7 4.8 2.8
 Dividends per share 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0
 NOTE: All figures have been converted into dollars using the current period end pounds/dollar exchange rate.
 -0- 3/10/93
 /CONTACT: John V.H. Robins or Mary E. Fairchild in the New York office, 212-363-4100; or Peter R. Stevens in the London office, 011-4471-481-7045, all of Willis Corroon Group/
 (WCG)


CO: Willis Corroon Group, plc ST: Tennessee IN: INS SU: ERN DIV

BR-BN -- AT002 -- 4848 03/10/93 10:04 EST
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