Hargreaves sees Brexit boost as chief exec steps down

Ian-Gorham-presenting-at-Platforum-conference-2013.jpgHargreaves Lansdown has posted a pre-tax profit of £131m driven by higher than normal trading volumes in the wake of the Brexit vote.

In its half-year results, published today, Hargreaves says it saw 1.95 million client-driven equity deals in the six months to 31 December, compared with 1.29 million in the previous six months.

Weak sterling has also boosted the value of client assets invested in overseas funds, and Hargreaves also saw gains from strong stockmarket performance.

While the company saw increased cash withdrawals post-Brexit, Hargreaves earns revenue from dealing charges which was a key profit driver in the second half of last year.

It says: “The extent to which this elevated dealing level is a short-term effect or a newly sustainable level is unknown, however, elevated levels of trading continue with no sign of material reduction six months on from the Brexit vote.”

Pre-tax profits are up 21 per cent from £108.1m at the same time in 2015.

Net business inflows are down 16 per cent from £2.8bn to £2.34bn, but overall total assets under administration rose 19 per cent from £58.8bn to £70bn.

Hargreaves’ Financial Services Compensation Scheme levy came to £5.2m last year.

The company continues to progress plans to launch a cash deposit service, but admits there is significant development work to carry out before the service can be launched. It expects to launch the HL Savings service in October at the earliest.

The results are the last chief executive Ian Gorham will oversee as he hands over the reins to deputy chief executive Chris Hill.

Gorham steps down as chief executive and from the company’s board today and will leave the business on 30 September.

He says: “I would like to thank our clients, staff, shareholders and many supporters for their help and assistance during successful period for Hargreaves Lansdown and I wish the company every success for the future.”