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UPDATE 2-BlackRock sails to higher profit despite market churn

(Adds quote from CEO)

April 12 (Reuters) - BlackRock Inc, the world's largest asset manager, reported first-quarter profit that exceeded Wall Street estimates on Thursday, benefiting despite higher volatility in global markets.

BlackRock said its iShares family of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) added $34.65 billion in new money in the quarter, down from $64.48 billion a year earlier.

The new assets helped BlackRock boost its revenue from managing money and lending out the stocks in its funds faster than its expenses on sales and compensation, bulking profits.

The market swung wildly during the quarter, with enthusiasm over the effect of U.S. corporate tax cuts enacted last year blunted by concerns about inflation, a global trade war and U.S. central bank policy.

BlackRock Chief Executive Larry Fink said in a statement the company's institutional clients reacted dramatically, for instance by stocking away cash in the bond market, selling investments to fund investments, share buybacks or acquisitions.

"In a challenging environment, BlackRock continued to perform well," Fink said.

Total revenue rose 15.9 percent to $3.6 billion from the same quarter in 2017, while expenses rose just 9.8 percent to $2.2 billion. Assets under management were $6.32 trillion on March 31.

BlackRock shares climbed 2.4 percent in premarket trading.

Overall, the New York-based company's net income rose to $1.09 billion, or $6.68 per share, in the quarter ended March 31 from $859 million, or $5.21 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, BlackRock earned $6.70 per share, which the company said was partly driven by a lower tax rate. Analysts on an average expected BlackRock to report $6.39 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. (Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Additional reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Bernadette Baum)