Updates from Hargreaves Lansdown and Homeserve


More pressure on the FTSE 100 yesterday, down 16 points to 6,449.27. ARM Holdings sank -5.91% to 875p though Aberdeen Asset Management reversed the previous day's losses, coming back with a +4.86% gain with shares climbing to 395p.

The Dow Jones ended Tuesday at 15,445, up +0.47%, or 72 points.

We commence with six month numbers from Hargreaves Lansdown. The financial services player says there's total net business inflows of £2.80 billion, up 70% (H1 2013: £1.65bn). Profit before tax climbs 11% to £104.1m.

Total assets under administration rises to £43.4 billion (up 43% on 31 December 2012 and 19% on 30 June 2013). The interim dividend rises 11% to 7.0 pence per share (H1 2013: 6.3 pence).

"We are pleased," says chief exec Ian Gorham, "that Hargreaves Lansdown's results once again show substantial growth in new clients, assets, revenue and profit."

Next, Homeserve. Homeserve says it expects adjusted profit before tax for the year ending 31 March 2014 to be in line with market expectations. Customer numbers at 31 December 2013 were 2.1m it says.

"Recent product enhancements and improved customer satisfaction," says Homeserve, "are delivering a good retention performance and we expect full year retention to increase from the 81% reported in the first half of the year."

However the company was hit by a much higher than expected fine - £49m - by the City regulator for mis-selling. As at 31 March 2014, US customer numbers are expected to be around 15% higher than the prior year (FY2013: 25%), Homeserve claims.

Finally, information services player ICAP says Group revenue for the third quarter to 31 December 2013 was 6% lower than the same period last year and 5% lower on a constant currency basis.

Ongoing cost savings programme remains on track, it claims. But there are a number of external factors that could hit performance in the final quarter in Global Broking, it warns, including continued bank deleveraging.

"Trading activity," says Michael Spencer, Group Chief Executive Officer, "across many markets was down in the third quarter, compared to the prior year, with a slower December than we anticipated."