Updates from Hargreaves Lansdown and Ashtead Group

Adrian Holliday
 savings, tax, stockmarket, pensions, cash, investment FTSE 100
savings, tax, stockmarket, pensions, cash, investment FTSE 100

A tiny 3.8 point push higher for the FTSE 100, ending Tuesday at 6,829.1. Weir Group saw the most momentum, up 2.54% to 2,706p while Tesco shares also put on a little weight, up 2.37% - though this rise follows heavy recent selling from fund managers - to 230.90p.

In contrast, investors dumped RBS with shares sinking 2.44% to 351.50p while Royal Mail shares fell 1.74% to 440p. Over in the US, the Dow Jones saw 30 points, or 0.18%, knocked off with oil producers particularly exposed to weaker sentiment. The index ended Tuesday at 17,067.5.

We commence this morning with full year numbers from broker Hargreaves Lansdown. Total assets under administration soar 29% to £46.9 billion while net revenues are upped 8% to £291.9 million. Operating profit rises 8% to £208m.

Total clients are upped 144,000 to 652,000 since June 2013 while the total dividend climbs 8% at 32p per share. "Our clients," says the financial services player, "have entrusted a further £6.4 billion to us such that we now administer £46.9 billion of assets."

The broker is now thought to be in line to apply for a banking licence. The company recently dropped its probate valuation "death charge".

Next, first quarter numbers from rental equipment operator Ashtead Group. Group rental revenue climbs 22% while there's Q1 pre-tax profit of £120m, up 33% at constant exchange rates Ashtead Group claims.

The Group EBITDA margin improves to 46% (2013: 43%) while the full year guidance for capital expenditure is upped, from £825m to £875m.

"As a result of this strong performance," says chief exec Geoff Drabble, "and with a strong balance sheet to support future growth, we now anticipate a full year result ahead of our previous expectations."

Lastly, construction firm Galliford Try has announced two new contracts in the affordable housing sector worth a combined £106 million. Galliford Try's Partnerships business has been picked by Notting Hill Housing to build the £81 million Great Eastern Quays project in East London.

The regeneration scheme will see the creation of up to 350 mixed tenure homes, as well as the development of public spaces alongside the river and the docks, including business, retail and leisure areas, so the builder says.

It has also secured £20 million of funding under the Affordable Homes Programme 2015-18 which will go towards the creation of 858 affordable homes across the UK, it additionally claims.

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