Blackstone Profit Surges On Real-Estate Gains

Feb 3 2011 | 2:02pm ET

The Blackstone Group said its fourth-quarter profits rose more than 50%, the seventh-straight quarter in which the world's largest private-equity firm has posted a year-on-year gain.

The New York-based firm said it earned $512.7 million, excluding some initial public offering costs, in the three months ended Dec. 31. That's 56% more than it earned in the fourth quarter of 2009, when it made $329.4 million.

Blackstone credited the success of its real-estate investments for much of the jump, although its private equity funds also made gains. Blackstone is set to raise its seventh real-estate fund this year, seeking about $10 billion.

Blackstone's net loss—which does include the IPO charges—was just $11 million in the fourth quarter, down from $143.3 million in the previous fourth-quarter.

The firm's assets under management rose almost 14% year-on-year to $109.5 billion; real-estate assets made up about one-quarter of that total. Deal-making volume more than doubled last year to $11.85 billion, up from $5.66 billion.

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