Hub Revenue Jumps, But Earnings Decline in 4Q, 2004

Chicago-based Hub International Limited posted a 64 percent decline in net earnings to $3.9 million from $10.7 million a year earlier, despite a 33 percent increase in revenue to $104.4 million from $78.7 million and a 1 percent organic growth rate.

For the year 2004, Hub’s net earnings declined 28 percent to $26.2 million from $36.5 million in 2003, but revenue increased 26 percent to $360.9 million from $286.4 million for the year, reflecting the impact of acquisitions and a 5 percent organic growth rate.

Hub reports that the decline in earnings resulted from the compensation charge related to the Talbot Financial Corporation acquisition on July 1, 2004

“We are happy with our results for 2004,” said Martin P. Hughes, chairman and chief executive officer. “We’re moving in the right direction and we are making progress in each of the corporate initiatives announced around this time last year. We anticipate increased progress in 2005.”

Hughes said the company anticipates no material weaknesses to report under Sarbanes-Oxley requirements when filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, he noted that reviews by external legal counsel–in response to inquiries from New York’s Attorney General and other states’ legal and regulatory authorities–have not indicated inappropriate dealings with customers.

“It’s impossible to prove a negative, but customer and employee hotlines and an inquiry by external legal counsel have not suggested inappropriate activity in our organization,” Hughes said.