Calling 2001 one of the most difficult years in its history, T. Rowe Price said today that its revenues declined 17% in the year to $1 billion compared to $1.2 billion in 2000.

The firm was hard-hit by a loss in assets under management, which slid 3.5% to $58.3 billion at the end of the year, a decline of about $2.2 billion from January of 2001. And revenues from investment advisory fees fell about 15%, from $916,358 in 2000 to just more than $775,000 last year.

T Rowe president George A. Roche said that the stock market’s fourth-quarter rally "was not enough to overcome earlier declines" and that "the drop in our earnings resulting from the equity declines clearly made 2001 one of the most challenging in our company’s history."

Flows into the company’s U.S. stock funds totaled more than $1.8 billion, but those gains were offset by declines in the company’s international equity funds, which suffered net outflows of $2 billion. Money market funds posted net inflows of $685 million.

T. Rowe managed to slash expenses in the fourth quarter by $34 million, including a $9.3 million reduction in its advertising and marketing budget.

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