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Kohlberg Kravis Roberts posted a 10% increase in first-quarter profits as its private-equity business booms, the firm said today.

New York-based KKR said its net income rose to $742.5 million for the first three months of the year. That figure excludes some costs related to its initial public offering in 2009; under generally accepted accounting principles, KKR earned $159.6 million, easily topping analysts' estimates.

Much of its boost can be attributed to KKR's flagship p.e. business, which saw its profits jump 41% to $276.7 million as p.e. investments rose 6.5% on the quarter. That helped push assets under management up 12% to $61 billion and fee income up 12% to $110.3 million.

"The first quarter represented a good start to 2011 for each of our businesses," co-CEOs Henry Kravis and George Roberts said. "In particular, this quarter's strong financial results benefited from a growing number of monetization and exit events across our private equity portfolio, which generated the most distributable cash carry we have had in a quarter since going public."

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