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Hargreaves to top forecasts

FINANCIAL advisory firm Hargreaves Lansdown said yesterday it expects its full-year results to come in ahead of expectations, driven by high stockbroking dealing volumes and the recent market recovery.<br /><br />The firm said revenues for the 11 months to 31 May were 10 per cent ahead of the same period last year and that full-year pre-tax profit should be slightly above the top end of market expectations, currently around &pound;69.1m.<br /><br />It added that the value of assets held within its Vantage service, a direct-to-private investor fund supermarket and wrap platform, jumped by 15 per cent between March and May. The value of the assets stood at &pound;10.6bn at the end of last month.<br /><br />Chief executive Peter Hargreaves said: &ldquo;The business has again demonstrated its ability to gather assets and improve revenues even in adverse conditions.&rdquo;<br /><br />Hargreaves Lansdown also said it had completed an initial review of a consultation paper published last week by the Financial Services Authority for the retail investment industry.<br /><br />&ldquo;We can see nothing in the draft rules that will be overtly damaging to our business model,&rdquo; the firm said in a statement.<br /><br />The news cheered investors yesterday, sending the stock soaring 4.48 per cent to close at 210p.