Hedge fund firm GLG Partners Inc on Thursday reported a 78 percent loss in adjusted fourth quarter profit as its funds posted losses.

The London-based company said today in a statement the profit excluding acquisition costs dropped to $28.2 million, or 9 cents a share, from $127 million, or 38 cents, a year earlier.

We faced a difficult environment in 2008 on multiple fronts … GLG is off to a good start in 2009 and we are optimistic about our prospects, Noam Gottesman, GLG's chairman and co-chief executive officer said in a statement.

Gross assets under management fell to $16.5 billion on December 31 from $21.2 billion on September 30 GLG said. The company needed at least $15 billion in a gross assets under management at year end to avoid triggering covenants on $570 million of debt. The gross assets include investments GLG makes in its own funds and funds of hedge funds.