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Greenhill Profits Double

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Boutique U.S. investment bank Greenhill & Co (GHL.N: Quote, Profile, Research) on Thursday said first-quarter profit more than doubled amid a surge in merger advisory fees, but the results fell short of expectations as some deals were delayed.

The New York-based firm said net income rose to $19.2 million, or 68 cents a share, compared with $8.7 million, or 29 cents per share in the year-ago period. Revenue from advising on mergers, restructuring and merchant bank investments rose 73 percent to $75.4 million.

Analysts on average had expected Greenhill to earn 78 cents a share in the quarter on $82.2 million of revenue, according to Reuters Estimates.

Greenhill said deteriorating market conditions and other factors pushed the completion of some deals beyond March 31, but added business has held up well amid the credit crunch.

“While M&A announcements in all markets have obviously declined sharply in the year to date, we continue to see a good level of M&A dialogue among major corporations,” co-Chief Executive Simon Borrows said. “Our traditional focus on corporations rather than private equity firms positions us well for this type of market.” (Reporting by Joseph A. Giannone, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)