Page last updated at 10:31 GMT, Thursday, 26 March 2009

Man Group profits and funds slump

Stock price screen
Falling stock markets have led investors to pull out of Man funds

Man Group, the world's largest listed hedge fund, has said it expects pre-tax profits for the year to the end of March to drop by almost a half.

Profits should come in at $1.2bn (£823m; 884m euros) compared with $2.1bn a year earlier. Funds under management also fell sharply, by 36%.

The company said cost-cutting measures would lead to 270 job losses - about 15% of the workforce.

Markets had expected worse figures, and Man shares rose 10.8% on the FTSE 100.

'Difficult year'

Man has suffered as stock markets have fallen dramatically during the economic downturn and investors have taken money out of risky assets.

"This has been a very difficult year for global markets and our business has not been immune," said Man boss Peter Clarke.

"We have seen a reduction in funds under management and many investors, particularly institutions, have sought liquidity regardless of performance and reduced their exposure to all asset classes," he added.

Funds under management fell from $74.6bn at the end of March last year to $47.7bn currently.

But analysts were impressed with Man's performance.

"A number of the market's more lurid fears have not been validated," said Bank of America.

"We reiterate our buy on Man, which we regard as a sound, well-financed company generating cash, paying it to investors and selling products which have worked for investors in the most difficult environment most of us have seen," it added.

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