GLOBAL – Mercer Human Resource Consulting had revenues last year of $2.7bn (€2.3bn) - flat with the 2004 figure -parent Marsh & McLennan Companies said.

MMC’s total consulting revenues were up 4% in the year at $3.8bn – but that was driven by a 17% increase in specialty consulting. Consulting operating income rose to $451m from $409m a year before.

Mercer's total revenues increased 6% in the fourth quarter to $966m, with Mercer HRC revenue up 2%.

Asset management division Putnam Investment’s fourth-quarter revenues fell 12% to $360m. Average assets under management were down to $188bn from $211bn. “Net redemptions in the quarter were $6.4bn,” MMC said.

Overall, MMC said its net income swung to a $35m profit from a net loss of $680m a year before – though revenues slipped 2% to $2.8bn.

Full-year consolidated revenues were $11.7bn and net income was $404m.

"Two thousand five was a challenging year for MMC,” said chief executive Michael Cherkasky.

“We did what we critically needed to do. We stabilized MMC; we preserved our great brands — Marsh, Mercer, Putnam, Kroll, and Guy Carpenter; and we overwhelmingly retained our clients and employees.

“Mercer Human Resource Consulting, Mercer Specialty Consulting, and Kroll grew revenues and are positioned for increased profitability in 2006, as is Guy Carpenter. Putnam continues to reduce its net outflows as it slowly but steadily completes its turnaround. MMC is headed in the right direction."