AuA at record levels at Hargreaves Lansdown

Financial services provider Hargreaves Lansdown said revenue, assets under administration (AuA) and client numbers all hit record levels in the July-September quarter, the firm's quietest period of the financial year.

Financial services provider Hargreaves Lansdown said revenue, assets under administration (AuA) and client numbers all hit record levels in the July-September quarter, the firm's quietest period of the financial year.

Assets under administration increased to £28.5bn at the end of September from from £26.3bn at the end of June.

Net new business for the first quarter of the company's financial year came in at £0.55bn, which was 19% lower than the £0.68bn inflow seen in the corresponding period of 2011.

Net new business in August was markedly lower year-on-year but the firm pointed out that not only was August 2011 a particularly volatile month but it also marked the launch of Hargreaves Lansdown's upgraded stockbroking service. Net new business in July and September this year were only marginally lower than last year.

Share dealing volumes totalled 357,000, representing a 6% decrease on the previous year. Once again, lower year-on-year levels in August were to blame; volumes in September and July combined were actually 20% higher this year.

The number of active clients on the firm's Vantage service increased by 7,000 from 425,000 at the end of June to 432,000 at the end of September. Last year, Vantage added 8,000 new clients during the quarter. The number of active accounts held by Vantage clients increased from 625,000 to 635,000.

Corporate Vantage scheme member numbers doubled in the quarter to more than 9,400.

Operating revenue rose 20% to £68.7m from £57.2m in the same quarter of 2011. The percentage of recurring revenue increased to a record 82%. The key driver of revenue growth was the higher level of Vantage AuA compared to the same period in the previous year. The proportion of assets held as cash at September 30th was 11% compared to 12% at June 30th.

The group described the first quarter of its financial year as a "pleasing start" given challenging economic and market conditions for retail investors, and added that it has made an excellent start to October.

"The beginning of the second quarter has seen considerably improved activity in the way of new investment opportunities. We have been encouraged to see potential investors seeking information and increased volumes of them converting into new clients, helped by the announcement of our new SIPP [Self-Invested Pension Plan] Loyalty bonus incentive and new share and fund launches," the firm said.

"Future stock market levels and investor confidence will have a significant part to play during the remainder of our financial year," the statement continued.

"In the coming months we will be launching our iPad app and a number of other major new initiatives. We remain confident of growing the business further to the benefit of our clients and shareholders," the firm said.

JH

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