Earnings per share rise 33% to 69c.

Aon’s profit has fallen 43% to $117m (£73m) in the third quarter as the world economy slows.

Net income stood at 40c per share, down from $204m or 64c per share in the same quarter last year.

However, earnings per share rose 33% to 69c, beating most analysts’ expectations.

Net income from continuing operations increased 18% to $153m or 52c per share in the third quarter, up from $130m or 41c per share in the same period of 2007.

The US giant shook up the industry earlier this year when it agreed to buy London-based Benfield for $844m, taking on $91m of debt.

President Greg Case said Aon had beaten its key performance indicators: “These results were achieved despite soft market conditions globally and unprecedented turmoil in the insurance industry.

“We are pleased to deliver results that demonstrate continued progress in each of our key metrics: organic growth was 2%, adjusted

pre-tax margin increased 140 basis points and adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations increased 33%.”

UK fees and commissions for the third quarter of 2008 were $182m, down slightly on last year’s figure of $193m.

For the nine months to 30 September 2008, Aon’s UK fees were $546m, up from $545m in the same period last year.