Blackstone fires on all cylinders to roar to $2bn record profits

Michael Bow
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BLACKSTONE, the US private equity giant that co-owns Broadgate in the City, yesterday said profits rose 43 per cent in the fourth quarter despite its revenue generating real estate arm misfiring.

The buyout shop, which has focused more on bricks and mortar in recent years, booked a $670m (£422m) profit for the three months ending 2012, propelling a 30 per cent rise in yearly economic net income (ENI) – a common measure of private equity profits – to $2bn – its best annual profit since listing in 2007.

Its private equity division saw profits up 86 per cent, while profits rose 163 per cent at its hedge fund arm and 96 per cent at its credit arm.

But real estate, the biggest part of Blackstone’s revenue generation, saw ENI drop two per cent to $246m.

And Blackstone said it returned $3.5bn to investors over the year, at an average of 2.1 times their money. Across all its funds, it returned $18bn to its investors.

The New York based outfit is also sitting on $35bn of dry power, ready to snap up firms and real estate in future, it said.