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Aon Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Stocks in this article: AON

Gregory C. Case

Thank you, Emily, and good morning, everyone, and welcome to our second quarter conference call. Joining me here today is our CFO, Christa Davies.

Consistent with previous quarters, I'd like to cover 3 areas before turning the call over to Christa for further financial review. I would note that there are slides available on our website for you to follow along with our commentary today.

First, our performance against key metrics we communicated to shareholders; second, I'll cover overall organic growth performance; and third is continued areas of investment across Aon.

On the first topic, our performance versus key metrics. Each quarter, we measure our performance against the 3 metrics we focus on achieving over the course of the year: grow organically, expand margins and increase earnings per share.

Turning to Slide 3. In the second quarter, organic revenue growth was 4% overall with solid growth across all major businesses in both Risk and HR Solutions. Operating margin decreased 100 basis points, driven primarily by significant investments we are making in new growth opportunities and in key talent across our businesses. Finally, EPS was $1.02 as growth and effective capital management primarily offset incremental investment spend.

Overall, our second quarter results reflect improved organic revenue growth across all of our major businesses as we make significant investments to further strengthen our client-serving capabilities. Our results were also very consistent with the plants we laid out in Q1 for the full year 2012, recognizing that Risk Solutions was a bit better than anticipated and HR Solutions was a bit lighter than anticipated due to higher investment spend and the timing of certain deferred costs.

While Christa will provide additional financial commentary in a few minutes, we continue to anticipate improved performance in the second half of the year are on track with our long-term targets and have continued to take significant steps to further position the firm for long-term growth, strong free cash flow generation and increased financial flexibility.

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