NU Online News Service, Nov. 7, 2003, 3:43 p.m. EST – Hewitt Associates Inc., Lincolnshire, Ill., says acquisitions and growth in benefits administration outsourcing business helped it double its net income for the quarter that ended Sept. 30 despite a drop in consulting revenue.

The human resources outsourcing and consulting firm has a fiscal year that runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, and it calls the latest quarter the fourth quarter.

Hewitt is reporting $30 million in net income for the latest quarter on $538 million in revenue, up from $15 million in net income on $485 million in revenue for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2002.

Acquisitions pushed total fourth-quarter outsourcing revenue up 18%, and outsourcing revenue at units that Hewitt has owned for more than a year grew 9%.

Acquisitions helped boost Hewitt consulting revenue 2%, but, excluding the effects of acquisitions, consulting revenue fell 3%. Although demand for health and retirement consulting services was strong, the weak economy hurt demand for more discretionary types of consulting services, Hewitt says.