Aon profit beats as HR business margins improve

Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:11am EDT

(Reuters) - Aon Plc's (AON.N) quarterly profit rose for the first time in three quarters and beat analysts' expectations as investments in its human resources services business started to pay off.

The world's largest insurance broker reported third-quarter net income of $204 million, or 62 cents per share, from continuing operations, up 3 percent from $198 million, or 59 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, Aon posted adjusted earnings of 95 cents per share.

Total revenue rose 1 percent to $2.74 billion.

Analysts on average were expecting the company to earn 89 cents per share, on revenue of $2.79 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue in the company's human resources services business, Aon Hewitt, rose marginally to $971 million, helped by a 5 percent increase in outsourcing fees. But operating margins in the business rose to 17.5 percent from 16 percent on an adjusted basis.

Aon shares closed at $52.35 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.

(Reporting by Aman Shah in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila, Supriya Kurane)