Insurance, reinsurance and employee benefits company Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group updated the market on its trading for the period from 1 January to 30 April on Tuesday, saying it made a "good start" to the year, set against the current insurance rating environment.
The FTSE 250 firm reiterated what it said at its full year results in February, explaining that while most classes of reinsurance and specialty lines had seen a moderation or end to price reductions, there was not a consistent pattern, with increases generally limited to areas and sectors where heavy losses had occurred last year.
It said the 'trader's market', as it described the evolving market conditions in February, left JLT - with its strong specialty broking capabilities - well-placed to grow and implement its strategy.
In its Global Specialty division, and as it announced in February, JLT had now restructured its specialty businesses globally under a new leadership team, reportedly facilitating greater coordination and driving further growth.
"Several important client wins were achieved in the period and we anticipate continued good organic revenue growth in the year," the board said in its statement.
"The US Specialty business remained on track to achieve continued revenue growth, whilst further reducing net investment losses."
In Global Reinsurance, following positive 1 January renewal activity, JLT said it continued to make financial progress.
The good performances seen in 2017 in Europe and North America had continued into 2018.
JLT's third business division, Global Employee Benefits, was said to have traded well in the period, with the Asia region returning to growth and the UK business maintaining the momentum seen in 2017.
The group aldo completed two acquisitions in the first four months of the year, acquiring International Risk Consultants - a US trade credit and political risk broker, providing trade credit, single-and-multi-buyer, and political risk insurance across the US, Brazil and Hong Kong - in February.
JLT also bought Chartwell Healthcare in the UK in February, subject to regulatory approval.
The board described Chartwell as a specialised private medical insurance broker serving UK mid-market clients.
"In line with our strategy, the group anticipates further investment in the business through targeted acquisitions and continues to have a pipeline of opportunities to further supplement organic revenue growth and extend our specialty capabilities."
The company's board said its Global Transformation Programme, announced in February, was progressing to schedule with the anticipated 2018 costs of £33m and benefits of £16m remaining as previously stated.
It said the programme overall, once fully implemented in 2020, was expected to achieve annualised savings of £40m for a one-off total cost of £45m.
"Foreign exchange rates
remained volatile in the period, and it is too early to determine the impact for the full year," the board noted.
As it had previously indicated, the group would publish a restatement of the 2017 financial accounts during the second quarter of 2018, reflecting the new structure of the business and the adoption of the IFRS 9 and IFRS 15 accounting standards.
"As indicated in our 2017 full-year results announcement, we entered 2018 with real momentum, which has continued through the period, and anticipate delivering organic revenue growth in line with historical rates and achieving further financial progress."