* Revenue up 22 pct to 292.4 million pounds
* Profit before tax 195.2 million pounds
* Total clients increased 76,000 to 507,000
By Chris Vellacott
LONDON, Sept 4 Hargreaves Lansdown PLC
unveiled a 31 percent increase in its full-year dividend after
the investment manager decided it had no need for extra cash to
fund future expansion by acquisition.
In an earnings statement for its full year to the end of
June published on Wednesday, the firm said it would hike the
second interim and special dividends to bring the total for the
year to 29.59 pence a share, up from 22.59 pence a year earlier.
Co-founder Peter Hargreaves said management opted to return
more money to shareholders after settling on an entirely
organic, UK-focused growth strategy, rather than buying up
rivals or expanding overseas.
"The fact is we sat down and said, 'do we need this money
for acquisitions?' and we don't. The business throws cash off
all the time, so we've no great plans to buy anything,"
Hargreaves told Reuters in an interview.
Hargreaves Lansdown, which is the UK's largest distributor
of mutual fund products to retail investors, has benefited from
a regulatory shake-up of how financial products are sold,
banning commission-based selling.
While smaller competitors have struggled with the increased
regulatory costs and the abolition of the commissions on which
they depended, Hargreaves Lansdown has thrived, largely on
account of its size which has helped it absorb more of the cost.
"We believe there's an awful lot of business in the UK
market for us to still try to get hold of. We think what we do
is a good business model and we're not thinking of changing it.
In the pond we're in, there's enough fish to catch," Hargreaves
The firm said net business inflows were up 59 percent to 5.1
billion pounds over the year and the total assets it administers
for its clients rose 38 percent to 36.4 billion pounds.
Pretax profits rose 28 percent and revenues grew a little
more than a fifth over the year.
The company warned, however, regulatory change would
continue "creating challenge and cost." It also cautioned that
low interest rates would put pressure on income earned on cash