Royal Mail float helps deliver Hargreaves lift

 
Michael Bow
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FUND platform Hargreaves Lansdown yesterday said strong demand from retail investors for shares in Royal Mail helped deliver a rise in revenues and new business.

The company, which operates as an online investment supermarket where DIY investors can buy funds, said revenues rose 13 per cent year on year for six months ending December to £158m.

The initial public offering of shares in Royal Mail helped drive the increase, adding 27,000 new customers to Hargreaves’ investor base.

In total, 77,000 new customers joined during the period, taking total numbers to 584,000 – giving it the biggest share of the fund platform market.

“We welcomed 77,000 new clients during the period, easily the most for any six months in our history, and more than the first six months of 2011, 2012 and 2013 combined,” chief executive Ian Gorham said.

Pre-tax profits rose 11 per cent to £104.1m. The firm also saw a 70 per cent increase in new business flows, to £2.8bn during the period.

However, Hargreaves warned the period could be an anomaly in the company’s results.

“This year may turn out to be a little unusual, given the exceptional Royal Mail event that occurred in the first half of the year,” Gorham added.

Shares fell over 10 per cent due to investor profit taking.

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