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Hargreaves Lansdown Profit Rises on Gain in Assets

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Sept. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Hargreaves Lansdown Plc, the U.K.’s biggest retail broker, said fiscal full-year profit rose 18 percent as funds under management increased.

Profit before tax climbed to 86.3 million pounds ($133 million) in the year to June 30 from 73.1 million pounds a year earlier, the Bristol-based company said today in a statement. That missed the 88.5 million-pound median estimate of three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Net income rose 18 percent to 61.3 million pounds.

“Revenue, profits and earnings per share have achieved record levels,” Chief Executive Officer Peter Hargreaves said in the statement. “The company is extremely well placed to build on the momentum that has been generated so far.”

Record low interest rates in the U.K. and an increase in Britons’ tax-free savings allowance has raised investments in funds 25 percent to 488.2 billion pounds over the last 12 months, according to the Investment Management Association. Hargreaves Lansdown earns fees through its online fund supermarket and pension products.

Assets under administration climbed 47 percent to 17.5 billion pounds in the 12 months to June 30. Without the cost of a new 4.4 million-pound office, profit before tax would have been 90.7 million pounds, Hargreaves said.

The broker raised its full-year dividend 18 percent to 11.88 pence a share, missing the analysts’ estimate of 12.2 pence.

Peter Hargreaves, who founded the company with Stephen Lansdown in 1981, will step down as CEO tomorrow, to be replaced by deputy CEO Ian Gorham. Hargreaves will become an executive director, replacing Lansdown, who was named a non-executive director last week.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kevin Crowley in London at kcrowley1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net

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