Mellon Financial Corp. announced a decrease in quarterly net profit despite an increase in assets under management.

The parent of mutual fund firm Dreyfus Corp. reported a first quarter profit from continuing operations of $211 million, down from $216 million in the first quarter of 2001. In 2000, Mellon posted a first quarter net profit of $291 million.

Mellon has recently shied away from the retail banking business to focus on asset management. Last year, Mellon sold a banking unit to Citizens Bank, which is owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland.

That left Mellon without any traditional banking services and loaded up with asset management firms. Mellon also recently acquired Standish Ayer & Wood, a money manager with $41 billion in managed account assets.

That acquisition helped boost the firm's total assets under management to $610 billion at the end of the first quarter, up from $520 billion at the same point in 2001.

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