JLT reaps emerging markets rewards

Insurance broker Jardine Lloyd Thomson said its expansion into emerging markets had driven a 17 per cent increase in its retail business and ten per cent increase in its business to business broking lines.

The group, which now operates in 130 countries, said its revenues and pre-tax profits each grew by a healthy nine per cent in the first half of the year as it bolted on acquisitions and recruited staff.

Chief executive Dominic Burke told City A.M. its fast-growing Asian and Latin American presence was a long-term trend.

“I certainly think the internationalisation of our business will be a continuing theme and if you think about profit in the first half, of £39m from our London market division and £38m in our retail division, that compares to a £42m to £32m split in the first half of last year,” he said.

“The rebalancing of the business reflects the growth in these regions. The emerging internationalisation of the business is a long term trend.”

But he rejected suggestions that JLT may relocate out of the UK as its global business grew.

“We are a British business and have no intention of moving our headquarters,” he said.

Stripping out exceptional items, the group’s underlying pre-tax profit was £79.8m million, eight per cent ahead of the first half of 2010.

Revenues were £411.3m compared to the same period last year, including seven per cent organic growth.

Risk and insurance, which makes 80 per cent of its revenues, saw a strong first half with revenues up ten per cent to £327.3m as it reaped the benefits of its emerging markets presence

Burke cautioned that it’s London market whole business, Lloyd & Partners, grew just one per cent due to the “very highly competitive nature of the market”.