Mellon Financial Corp.'s second-quarter results were presented Tuesday in two parts - reflecting a decision to sell its retail operations - and showed a sharp decline in net income but a slight increase in operating income from the asset management and securities servicing-related businesses that will be its core.

Net income came to $55 million, reflecting the impact of a charge in its venture capital portfolio and accounting changes it began in the quarter. Mellon, based in Pittsburgh, said it had $91 million of charges related to a fair-value adjustment in its venture capital investments. The company had posted a net profit of $247 million in last year's second quarter, a figure that was distorted by gains.

Excluding charges, profits from continuing operations rose 2%, to $191 million, or 40 cents a share. On a comparable basis, that was up from $187 million a year earlier.

The company also said it would cut its dividend in half - from 24 cents a share in the second quarter to 12 cents a share by the fourth quarter - to free up an estimated $225 million for reinvestment in its businesses.

The company, which announc-ed Tuesday that it would sell its retail, small-business, and some middle-market banking operations to Citizens Financial Group for about $2 billion, reported separately on its discontinued operations, including the retail banking group. Income from discontinued operations was $45 million, or 15 cents a share.

Consolidated profits from ongoing and discontinued operations matched the consensus estimate of 55 cents a share.

Mellon has been working for several years to quit low-growth and low-profit businesses and invest its resources in what it sees as high-growth areas, including asset management, fund servicing, and private banking. In recent years, it has shed its credit card and mortgage operations, and more recently this year it got out of leasing and asset-based lending. At the same time, it has been acquiring in the areas of fund management and benefits consulting.

Asset management revenues rose 2% from the year earlier, to $380 million. Revenues from processing and corporate banking rose 20%, to $540 million.

Nonperforming assets declined $64 million, or 33%, from the first quarter. Mellon said it sold $77 million of loans, including some to an unnamed health-care provider and a financial services firm. It also put on nonperforming status during the quarter a $41 million credit to a California-based electricity and natural gas company that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

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