Updates from Hargreaves Lansdown, Victrex and Synergy Health

Oil stocks surge push FTSE 100 higher meanwhile Sky profits surge almost 140%

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savings, tax, stockmarket, pensions, cash, investment FTSE 100, Victrex, Hargreaves LansdownThe FTSE 100 put on weight again yesterday, this time more markedly, up more than 89 points to 6,871.8. A 1.3% gain. Intertek Group rose 6.5% to 2429p with Glencore and Weir Group taking 6.4% and 5.5% surges (to 269p and 1830p respectively). Shell shares climbed strongly too, up 5.3% to 2180p. But Aberdeen Asset Management sustained a 3.4% dip to 425p. This followed £4.8bn of funds being pulled in the last quarter, so the firm's numbers, released yesterday, revealed.

Across the water, the Dow Jones put on a proportionately better showing, up 1.7% to 17,666, a 305.3 point climb with oil stocks the main gainers.

We commence with new half-year numbers from Bristol-based Hargreaves Lansdown. Assets under administration rise 4.7% since 30 June 2014 to £49.1bn, Hargreaves claims. Total net business inflows for the 6 months came in at £2.25bn (H1 2014: £2.80bn).

Client and asset retention remain strong at 93.1% (H1 2014: 93.3% and 92.3% respectively), it says. "In a muted 6 months," says the financial services player, "for both stock markets and retail investing, Hargreaves Lansdown has managed to buck the trend with £2.25 billion of net new assets and further growth in clients to 675,000."

Broker Bernstein recently claimed Hargreaves Lansdown looked overvalued, along with St James' Place, supplying an Underperform rating on the stock.

We move onto polymer solutions company Victrex. Group revenues of £59.8m for the first quarter were 14% ahead of the year before (Q1 2014: £52.4m), with Group sales volume of 967 tonnes 42% ahead of the year before (Q1 2014: 679 tonnes).

The strong volume comparative in Q1 largely reflects current its Consumer Electronics business that didn't contribute to the last quarter it says. Excluding Consumer Electronics, volume growth in the underlying business is slightly ahead.

Victrex, says boss David Hummel, "has made a solid start to 2015 and our focused strategy is helping to continue our growth momentum. At this early stage of the year, our expectations are unchanged and we remain well placed for the year ahead."

Lastly, health support services player Synergy Health. Trading remains in line with Board's expectations for the full year with reported revenue for the nine months to 28 December 2014 up 5.7% to £303.1 million (Q3 2013/14 £286.9 million).

Underlying revenue, excluding currency effects, increased 9.6% it says. Growth has been building throughout the year, with third quarter underlying revenues before currency effects up 14.2% on the same period in 2013, Synergy claims.

Operating margin remains 50 basis points higher than the comparative period. Canaccord Genuity reiterated a Hold rating on the stock in mid January.

Breaking news: Sky claims a £1.2bn pre-tax profit for the last half of 2014, close to a 140% gain

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