Hargreaves reports 28% profit rise despite fund sales slowdown

Hargreaves Lansdown has reported a 28 per cent year-on-year rise in pre-tax profits to £72m during the six months to December 31.

The profit increase was accompanied by a 16 per cent year-on-year rise in revenues to £112.9m, from £97m at the end of 2010.

However, the FTSE 100-listed company says the rise was accompanied by a slowdown in total UK net retail fund sales, which fell to “levels only previously seen during the credit crunch of 2008”.

The firm’s total assets under administration grew by 5 per cent to £23.4bn, up year-on-year from £22.3bn.

Assets held on the Vantage platform shrank from £23.1bn at the end of June 2011, to £21.9bn at the end of December. Yet the platform added a further 16,000 clients in the six months to December 31, bringing the total to 396,000.

The decrease in assets under administration was attributed to the market performance and “other growth factors”.

Hargreaves Lansdown chief executive Ian Gorham says: “Traditionally, the second half of the year, which encompasses the tax year end, is the stronger half and we are pleased to report a successful pre-cursor to our busy season.”