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Fortress posts 230% rise in profits

Hedge fund Fortress Investment Group has reported a 230 per cent rise in full-year income for 2006.

The improved performance followed a particularly strong showing in the fourth quarter, during which time earnings rose to $442.9 million compared with $192 million for the equivalent period last year.

Meanwhile, higher management fees, which rose to $216.7 million from $153.2, also fuelled the growth in profits.

The new results from Fortress are the first since the company became the sole publicly traded hedge fund and private equity manager in the American market, following a share sale in February.

Commenting on the significance of this fact, Ben Phillips of Putnam Lovell NBF Securities told Bloomberg: "Fortress is still a category of one. When a couple of other firms enter the public markets, then we'll see who the markets prefer and where they see value.''

Blackstone Group LP plans to become the second hedge fund manager to offer a share sale, which is due later this year.