* Dividend rises 7 percent to 24 pence
* Profits up 13 percent, JLT expects more progress in 2012 (Adds analyst comment, updates share price, adds further detail)
LONDON, March 1 (Reuters) - Insurance broker Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT) reported a 13 percent rise in annual profits on Thursday and was confident of further progress in 2012.
JLT said underlying pretax profits for the year ending Dec. 31 rose to 147.6 million pounds ($235.78 million), with turnover up 10 percent to 818.8 million pounds.
Growth in JLT’s Asian, Latin American and Australian divisions offset lower sales in Europe and Canada.
According to Thomson Reuters Starmine, the mean pretax profit forecast stood at 147 million pounds.
The company also raised its dividend by 7 percent to 24 pence.
“Our strategy, built around growing our areas of specialty, strengthening our international footprint and driving efficiency, provides us with confidence that we will continue to make financial progress in 2012,” Chief Executive Dominic Burke said in a statement.
Last year, conglomerate Jardine Matheson raised its stake in JLT to around 40.35 percent after buying up an extra 10 percent in the company.
JLT shares slipped 1.6 percent to 690.50 pence in early morning trade, giving the company a market capitalisation of around 1.5 billion pounds.
Numis Securities kept an “add” rating on the stock, while JP Morgan Cazenove kept an “overweight” recommendation on JLT.
“The business is performing well and is able to maintain a much higher organic growth level than peers,” JP Morgan Cazenove said in a research note.
$1 = 0.6260 British pounds Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Myles Neligan