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Hargreaves Lansdown Rises Most Since 2007 on Customer Gains

Hargreaves Lansdown Plc, the U.K.’s largest retail broker, rose the most in more than four years in London trading after saying it added customers at a faster rate than last year’s record increase.

The shares rose 18 percent, the most since the day it became publicly traded in May 2007. They closed up 76.5 pence, at 508.5 pence, the highest for a month. It was the biggest gainer among stocks listed on the benchmark FTSE 100 Index.

Hargreaves Lansdown added 50,000 customers in the year ended June 30 taking the total to 380,000. It attracted 14 percent more new clients in July than a year ago while August also showed an increase on last year, the Bristol, England-based company said in a statement today. Net inflows in July and August were more than 30 percent higher than a year earlier.

“It is way beyond what I would have forecast,” co-founder Peter Hargreaves said in a telephone interview. “It is just phenomenal. For 10 years we have had poor markets.”

Hargreaves Lansdown, which was founded 30 years ago, may be affected by proposals from the Financial Services Authority to ban payments from next year by fund managers to brokers such as Hargreaves. The company reiterated its view that there is no reason for any change to materially affect revenue or profit.

The stock slumped 29 percent in July and August as global equity markets retreated and investors became concerned about the impact on Hargreaves Lansdown of the FSA’s proposals, which were a reversal of its previous thinking.

Net income rose 50 percent to 91.9 million pounds ($148.9 million), or 19.6 pence a share, from 61.3 million pounds, or 13.1 pence, a year earlier. Revenue increased 31 percent to 207.9 million pounds.

Assets under management advanced 41 percent to 24.6 billion pounds and have more than doubled in the past two years.

Hargreaves raised its total dividend by 59 percent to 18.87 pence a share, including a special dividend of 5.96 pence a share.

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