May 14, 2020 / 6:34 AM / 24 days ago

Record trading lifts Hargreaves revenue, boosting shares

LONDON (Reuters) - British fund supermarket Hargreaves Lansdown (HRGV.L) said on Thursday that a revenue boost from record levels of share trading during the first four months of the year more than offset a slide in total assets.

Shares in Hargreaves were up 7.8% at 0721 GMT, making them the leading gainers in a 1.2% weaker FTSE 100 .FTSE after the group said revenues rose 19.3% year-on-year to 190.2 million pounds as clients bought and sold shares.

Market volatility during the period due to the coronavirus pandemic prompted intervention by central banks and spurred a rush by retail clients to trade.

“March and April both saw a series of new daily records and monthly dealing levels more than double the highs ever experienced before this period,” Hargreaves said in a trading statement for the period, a typically busy time as clients look to make use of their annual tax-free savings allowance.

However total assets were down 8.1% at the end of April from the start of the year at 96.7 billion pounds, with market-related losses of 12.4 billion pounds and a withdrawal of 100 million pounds by one of Hargreaves Lansdown’s founders.

This fall in the value of total assets was partly offset by net new business of 4 billion pounds, which Hargreaves said was helped by the addition of a net 94,000 new clients.

“Despite the impact of asset price reductions in March, this is a strong print and likely to be taken well by the market,” analysts at Jefferies said in a note.

“However, we continue to see the stock as expensive and full-year 2021 will see further effects from the [Bank of England interest] rate cut on cash margins and potentially a return to lower trading volumes.”

Reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Maiya Keidan and Alexander Smith

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