Hargreaves Lansdown's share price falls, despite assets under management soaring to record levels as market share grows

Catherine Neilan
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Hargreaves Lansdown's share price fell this morning, despite registering record levels of assets under management (AUM), after strong new business inflows for the first half of its financial year.

The figures

The financial group's net revenue was up 10 per cent to £158.8m in the six months to 31 December, wwith profit before tax up six per cent to £108.1m.

Total assets under administration have risen 20 per cent to £58.8bn - with inflows up 23 per cent to £2.77bn - in the period. However operating profit margin has slipped 2.8 percentage points to 67.9 per cent.

The asset manager's interim dividend has risen seven per cent to 7.8p per share.

However investors were clearly hoping for more: Hargreaves Lansdown's share price fell 3.9 per cent in early trading.

Why it's interesting

Hargreaves Lansdown has had an unsettled few months - not least caused by the global turmoil fuelled by falls in stock markets around the world as well as the ongoing commodity rout, and the departure of its co-founder Peter Hargreaves last spring.

But the firm says despite that, client and asset retention was "excellent", and market share grew to 35.7 per cent, up from 33.6 per cent last year.

One of the best performing areas for the IFA-turned-asset manager was its multi-manager funds, which saw inflows up 35 per cent on the same time last year. As a result, the group is planning to launch a further two funds this year - the Strategic Assets fund and the High Income fund.

And it plans to launch "a new generation" of iPhone and Android apps, enabling customers better access to their accounts.

Meanwhile, its cash deposit service HL Savings, is due to launch this autumn.

What Hargreaves Lansdown said

Ian Gorham, chief executive, said: "Against a backdrop of fluctuating stock markets, Hargreaves Lansdown has continued to be the most popular destination for UK retail investors, with excellent new business for the period. In particular the pension freedoms continue to attract huge interest as we prepare for the important tax year-end period."

In short

Markets might be heading down, but Hargreaves Lansdown is still going up.

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