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Hargreaves Lansdown defies slump with 28% rise in profits

Hargreaves Lansdown has warned it could be 2011 before the UK comes out of recession despite the firm seeing a 28 per cent increase in profits for the second half of 2008.

Profits rose to £34.9m, up from £27.2m for the last six months of 2007.

Chief executive Peter Hargreaves says he expects good inflows from this year’s Isa season but warns that the UK faces a difficult couple of years.

“I do not think people realised how bad it has been and still is. I think the Government should have let some of the banks go bust so people will be more careful with their money. I think people have been chasing the highest rates in the safety that the Government will bail them out. We have become a nanny state.”

Revenue for Hargreaves Lansdown rose by 13 per cent to £65.6m, with both its Vantage platform and third-party revenues rising by 20 per cent to £41m and £9.5m respectively.

The group added a total of 17,000 new clients in the second half of 2008. Total assets under management fell by 9 per cent to £9.9bn. The group is offering an interim dividend of 3.065p.

Hargreaves says: “These results are not just resilient they are extraordinary. They demonstrate that people are still willing to invest with firms who are efficient, can be trusted and will take them through the case for investing.”


‘IFAs pay for bank failures’

Aifa has slammed the FSA for raising regulatory fees for all but the smallest IFA firms, warning that medium-size firms face overall increases of 90 per cent.

Apple: a stellar technology story

By Ali Unwin, head of technology sector research

Apple recently announced the highest-ever recorded quarterly net profit ($18bn), with the sale of 74.4 million iPhones helping the company deliver $74.6bn of revenue for the quarter ending December 2014. These sales were largely driven by strong demand for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Highlights included Chinese iPhone sales doubling year-on-year and unit growth of 44% in the US — supposedly a well-penetrated market. Apple ended the quarter with $178bn in cash on its balance sheet, having generated a staggering $30bn in free cash flow during the quarter.

At Neptune, we have been long-term believers in the Apple story, and continue to hold the stock in a number of our portfolios based on the company’s long-term growth prospects. This is predicated on our belief that Apple has proved thus far that it can — unusually for a consumer electronics company — maintain high margins for a sustained period of time, even as adoption of new technology slows down and competitors produce similar-specification products.


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