UPDATE 2-Marsh & McLennan beats Street, plays down Europe concerns
* Q2 adj EPS $0.61 vs est. $0.58
* Q2 revenue rose 3 pct to $3.03 bln
* Q2 rev at Marsh up 4 pct
* Shares up 2 pct
By Aman Shah
Aug 7 (Reuters) - Marsh & McLennan Co Inc's quarterly profit beat estimates for the fifth successive quarter as the insurance broker benefited from new business wins and rising insurance prices.
Insurance brokers have seen strong revenue growth over the past few quarters as insurers have raised prices on their offerings to offset big catastrophe losses last year.
Average insurance prices in the second quarter of 2012 were 1.4 percent higher than a year ago, having risen since September 2011, according to the Marsh Risk Management Global Insurance Index, which monitors insurance rates in 20 major countries.
"The most likely scenario is for pricing to be slightly positive for the rest of the year," Chief Executive Brian Duperreault told Reuters.
MMC, which has a market capitalization of $18.25 billion, competes with Aon Plc in negotiating insurance and reinsurance policies for corporate clients.
The company, though cautious about its outlook for Europe, said its operations were not likely to take a big hit from conditions in the continent, which accounts for a third of the company's revenue.
It is well positioned for growth in Europe, given a mix of consulting and insurance businesses, the CEO said.
"The real message is that we have a global spread of business opportunities, and we feel that we can take advantage where growth opportunities exist," Duperreault said. "We feel comfortable for the second half of the year and into 2013."
MMC operates across 4 segments: Marsh is its risk and insurance services segment, Mercer provides human resource consulting and outsourcing, Oliver Wyman is into management consulting and Guy Carpenter provides risk and reinsurance intermediary services.
Net income attributable to the company rose 17 percent to $329 million, or 60 cents per share, in the latest quarter. Total revenue was up 3 percent at $3.03 billion.
Excluding items, MMC earned 61 cents per share.
Analysts on average had expected the company to earn 58 cents per share on revenue of $3.08 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue at Marsh, the company's main insurance business, grew 4 percent to $1.4 billion, helped by the highest quarterly level of new business wins for the unit.
Last month, Aon posted a profit above expectations and said it was on track to meet its long term targets as investments start to pay off.
Shares of MMC have risen about 6 percent since the start of the year, outperforming the broader S&P500 Index, which has fallen about 4 percent during the same period.
They were trading up 2 percent at $33.99 in early afternoon trade on Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.
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