UPDATE 1-Hargreaves Lansdown shines as rivals struggle

Wed Feb 6, 2013 3:22am EST

* Total net business inflows 1.65 bln pounds, up 42 pct

* Assets under administration 30.4 bln pounds

* Pretax profit up 30 pct to 93.7 mln pounds

LONDON, Feb 6 (Reuters) - British investment manager Hargreaves Lansdown saw hefty increases in first-half profit, sales and assets after industry upheaval and banking scandals elsewhere attracted clients to its doors from rivals.

Revenue was up nearly a quarter at 140 million pounds ($220 million) in the six months to December, it said on Wednesday, while pretax profit rose 30 percent to 93.7 million pounds with total net business inflows up 42 percent.

Co-founder Peter Hargreaves said the robust growth was, in part, because of improving investor sentiment as markets settled through the second half of 2012 as the euro zone debt crisis eased.

He also pointed to public disillusionment with retail lenders following mis-selling scandals that have prompted many retail bank customers to move savings to investment managers.

Regulatory reforms including higher qualification requirements for financial advisers have seen many middle-aged advisers choosing retirement over sitting the exams, Hargreaves said, and the firm has taken on many of their former clients.

"We are finding the flow of new clients at unprecedented levels. People are opening new accounts at a greater rate than ever in our history," Hargreaves told Reuters in an interview.

The interim dividend was raised 24 percent to 6.3 pence.

Hargreaves Lansdown shares were up 4.9 percent to 770.5 pence in early trading. ($1 = 0.6382 pound) (Reporting by Chris Vellacott; Editing by Dan Lalor)

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