GLOBAL – T. Rowe Price Group says its second-quarter net income rose 49% to 80.3 million dollars (66.52 million euros) – with staff numbers rising six percent since the start of the year.

The Baltimore-based firm said assets under management rose more than 28% to 206.8 billion dollars on the prior year period’s 161 billion dollars.

Net revenues in the period were almost 310 million dollars, up 30% from the prior year quarter.

The firm said: “In particular, our institutional advisory efforts saw substantial growth, particularly outside the US where net inflows exceeded one billion dollars.”

Total investment advisory revenues were up 35% or 65.1 million dollars in the second quarter of 2004 versus the 2003 quarter.

Staff numbers have risen almost six percent to 4,000 from the start of the year – “to accommodate increased volumes across the firm”.

It added: “The firm expects its advertising and promotion expenditures in the third quarter of 2004 will be up more than three million dollars versus the comparable 2003 quarter while spending for all of 2004 could be up nearly 25% versus 2003.”

“We continue to be encouraged by net cash inflows into our mutual funds and managed accounts during the second quarter, which included steady inflows from across our multiple distribution channels,” said chairman and president George Roche.

“The economy continues to show signs of improvement, companies are reporting strong second quarter earnings, and traditional valuation measures for equities are reasonable.

“Although concerns about inflation, rising interest rates, global political risks, and higher oil prices may be injecting more caution by investors currently, we believe the outlook for the markets and our company remains favorable for the long term."