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Fitch recognizes that negative tangible equity is common among insurance brokers, and Willis has a solid record of integrating acquisitions, which somewhat mitigates risk associated with goodwill writedowns.
However the profits were flattered by the inclusion of large goodwill writedowns in the comparable period in 2001.
Sodexho said it would miss its goal of 2001-02 net profit after goodwill writedowns of pounds 133 million.
But the results came in below analyst estimates amid a sharp drop in profitability at the company's information technology arm and hefty goodwill writedowns.
4 billion loss for 2001, also due to goodwill writedowns.
GMAC's full-year results also reflect goodwill writedowns of $695 million after-tax.
4 million before tax and goodwill writedowns of pounds 69.
But, after goodwill writedowns and amortisation, profits were slightly down at pounds 11.
These losses were triggered by large special expenses, principally goodwill writedowns, debt refinancing costs, and business restructuring.
Mr Hartnall's comments came as the company reported pre-tax profits, before goodwill writedowns and exceptionals, of pounds 87 million in the six months to June 30, below last year's pounds 92 million.
Overall, TD has delivered consistent earnings performance since reporting sizeable goodwill writedowns and restructuring charges in the second quarter of 2003.