Here are three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
#1. Hargreaves Lansdown adds 23,000 new clients in Q1
Hargreaves Lansdown [LON:HL] has published a Q1 trading update this morning, covering the 3 months to 30th September. Share dealing volumes remain significantly elevated – up 80% – from the situation two years ago, although as anticipated are down 12% from the 2020 comparative, reflecting the extraordinary heightened level of activity during lockdown. 23,000 new clients were added and AUA increased by 2% over the quarter.
#2. Pearson on course to meet full year expectations
Educational publisher Pearson [LON:PSON] has issued a nine month trading update today, noting the business is on course to meet its full year expectations. The COVID-related closures of exam centres make the comparatives somewhat difficult to dissect here but perhaps most critically the company notes that it remains on track to deliver adjusted operating profits for the full year which are in line with expectations. With the health pandemic still weighing in some territories, could this be an indication that the potential for an even better performance is still to be realised?
#3. Loungers to open a further 10 properties this year
Loungers [LON:LGRS] is a café/bar operator with 181 venues across the UK, which also has a habit of producing well-reasoned trading updates that more than occasionally set it apart from some of its peers. The company notes significant outperformance of the market over the 20 weeks to 3rd October and whilst numbers here have been flattered by the VAT reduction, the strong performance of recently opened venues also gives cause for optimism. A further 10 properties are on track to open before the end of the financial year and as the characteristically sanguine CEO notes, the company is putting COVID behind them and now focusing on the current challenges facing the sector.