KKR’s first-quarter earnings jump 47% on strong asset sales, fees

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FILE PHOTO: Trading information for KKR & Co is displayed on a screen on the floor of the NYSE in New York

(Reuters) – Private equity firm KKR & Co Inc said on Tuesday that its first-quarter distributable earnings rose 47% year-on-year, thanks to a surge in asset sales and a rise in revenue from fees it charges investors to manage their money.

KKR’s earnings jump came despite financial markets plummeting in February in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and escalating concerns over soaring inflation. KKR had agreed to some of the asset sales in previous quarters and booked the profits when the deals closed in the first quarter.

The New York-based firm said its after-tax distributable earnings, which represent the cash used to pay dividends to shareholders, rose to $968.5 million, compared with $660.2 million a year earlier. That translated to after-tax distributable earnings per share of $1.10, exceeding the mean Wall Street analyst estimate of $0.98 per share, according to financial data provider Refinitiv.

During the quarter, KKR generated $609.2 million in income from performance fees, up from $171.3 million a year ago, as it booked more profits from asset divestments. Its fee-related earnings, which reflect revenue from management and capital market transaction fees, rose to $624.9 million from $439.7 million a year earlier.

KKR’s assets under management rose to $479 billion at the end of the first quarter, up from $471 billion at the end of the fourth quarter, while unspent capital totaled $115 billion.

(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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