Investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown has reported a rise in inflows and assets on the back of the meme-stock frenzy and surging interest from retail investors, driving "record performance" for the Bristol-based wealth manager.
The company, which administers £135.5bn of investments for over 1,645,000 clients signed up 233,000 net new clients and posted £8.7bn of net new business in the year to the end of June.
However, profits before tax fell short of 2020's result, down 3% to £366m on the back of higher costs.
Our investment in the scalability, diversity and resilience of HL's business model has resulted in a record 233,000 net new clients and £8.7 billion of net new business in the period."
Revenue grew by 15% to £631m, thanks in part to a changing demographic and the impact of the pandemic on client habits. During the financial year, 83% of new clients to the company were under 55 and demand for digital services saw 393 million online visits and 98% of trades being done online.
"This younger mix of clients underpins our future growth because their investment behaviours mirror the trends of previous cohorts: we know what they need from our 40-year track record of supporting clients through their financial lives. As we work with these new clients on similar paths, the lifetime value of our overall client base will increase," CEO Chris Hill (pictured) said in his review of the results.
Equity trading volumes too hit record levels during the year, up 54% on the year prior, driving underlying profit before tax growth up 8% to £366m.
Hill noted that the current profit level is "bigger than our net revenues were five years ago".
But the total dividend for the year was down 8% to 50.5 pence per share.
In February, Hargreaves Lansdown hiked its dividend by 6%, following a strong opening to the year.
Looking ahead, the company said that it expected to see stronger client activity in the coming fiscal year with investment in the client engagement experience on the cards.
"We have delivered a record performance and exceptional growth during an extraordinary and challenging year. Our investment in the scalability, diversity and resilience of HL's business model has resulted in a record 233,000 net new clients and £8.7 billion of net new business in the period, taking total clients to 1.645 million and assets to £135.5 billion."
"This has been an extraordinary year and I am proud of how our colleagues responded and continued to deliver to clients throughout this challenging period. We have not furloughed our people, enacted any COVID related redundancy programmes or sought any Government assistance," Hill said.
First published by our sister title Investment Week