Mutual Fund giant Fidelity Investments said on Monday that its net income plummeted 39% last year amid a rocky investment climate and suffering retirement accounts.

Profits for the privately held firm fell from $1.32 billion in 2001, to $808.2 million last year. Total revenue dropped 9% to $8.9 billion, while mutual fund accounts increased by 3.2 million to 54.6 million accounts. However, average assets under management slumped by 7%, falling to $819.9 billion in 2002.

Total net inflows into Fidelity Brokerage Co. funds didn’t fare well either, slipping 38% to $25.8 billion in 2002. The Boston-based institution cut its workforce by 2,300 employees last year, bringing its current total to about 29,100 employees.

Additionally, the firm said its funds outperformed 70% of their competitors in 2002, on an asset-weighted basis, up from 66% the previous year. However, only two of Fidelity's 59 sector funds showed a positive return in 2002.

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