Tough times ahead, warns Hargreaves Lansdown chair

INVESTMENT broker Hargreaves Lansdown reported a 20 per cent rise in full-year pre-tax profits yesterday as record levels of stockbroking activity boosted revenues by 10 per cent.<br /><br />The firm booked a profit of &pound;73.1m, compared to &pound;60.9m last year, on the back of revenues of &pound;132.8m.<br /><br />Chairman Stephen Lansdown said the company&rsquo;s &ldquo;resilient&rdquo; business model had helped it withstand the shocks of the financial crisis.<br /><br />Hargreaves Lansdown holds cash deposits as well as equities, rendering it less susceptible to investors&rsquo; flight to safety away from stocks.<br /><br />But Lansdown warned that the firm&rsquo;s revenue streams could be dented by the likelihood of extreme turbulence in the markets.<br /><br />&ldquo;Markets are going to be volatile. People who invest in the stock market for the long term will see returns, but there will be sharp falls and rises along the way,&rdquo; he said.<br /><br />The company, which has yet to make a loss in its 28-year history, increased assets under administration during the year by seven per cent to &pound;11.9bn, from &pound;11.1bn last year.