Money manager

Janus Capital Group

(JNS)

said that strong long-term product sales helped lift assets under management by 1.2% last month.

The Denver-based company said assets under management rose to $139 billion in December from $137.4 billion at the end of November. Janus said total net outflows, not including money markets, were $1.6 billion for the month, a figure that includes $1.8 billion of redemptions from

ING

(ING) - Get Report

that were announced in July 2004. Janus expects the remaining $2.7 billion of ING assets to be redeemed in March.

For the third consecutive month, gross sales of long-term products improved, outpacing November's gross sales by more than 35%. The company's Intech subsidiary, which uses a mathematical, risk-managed investment strategy, continued to show strength in December, recording net inflows of some $1.6 billion.

Janus also touted its strong mutual fund performance for the month. As of Dec. 31, more than 60% of the funds in the company's primary fund family, Janus Investment Fund, were in the top half of their Lipper categories on a one-year, total-return basis. In addition, more than 68% of the JIF funds were in the top half of their Lipper categories on a three-year, total-return basis at the end of December.

Separately, San Mateo, Calif.-based asset manager

Franklin Resources

(BEN) - Get Report

said that preliminary assets under management rose to $402.2 billion at the end of December from $388.9 billion at the end of November, a figure that is up from $336.7 billion a year ago.