BlackRock Inc., the New York-based asset-management arm of PNC Financial Services, said Tuesday that first- quarter earnings jumped 57% from a year ago.

Earnings rose to $19.2 million in the first three months of the year, up 12% from the fourth quarter, the company reported.

Laurence D. Fink, chairman and chief executive officer of BlackRock, called the results a pleasant surprise in light of recent market volatility.

Revenues were helped by a 22% increase in mutual fund fees, which have risen since the first quarter of 1999 because of growth in assets under management, he said. Total revenues grew $20.2 million, or 23%, to $108.1 million. BlackRock now manages a total of $172.6 billion in assets.

John Hall, an analyst at Prudential Securities, said BlackRock has performed well in several new areas. Its recently launched European equity team brought in $3 billion during the first quarter, Mr. Hall said.

"With BlackRock, if you look across the board, no sector dominated cash inflow, but several areas are doing very well," Mr. Hall said.

BlackRock has grown at a steady clip since being purchased by Pittsburgh-based PNC in 1995, when it managed $24 billion. The company, which went public in October, was the first bank-affiliated asset-management unit to do so.

- Matt Ackermann

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