Experian beats profit forecasts

Dublin-headquartered credit information firm Experian has narrowly beat profit forecasts, benefiting from strong growth in Latin America, and said it was on track to meet its targets in the current fiscal year.

Experian, best known for carrying out consumer credit checks for banks and retailers, yesterday reported earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) from continuing operations for the year to the end of March of $1.175bn (€895.7m), up 19% and ahead of the average forecast of $1.15bn, according to Thomson Reuters data.

“For the year ahead, we expect to continue to deliver high-quality growth, consistent with our core financial objectives to deliver mid-high single-digit organic revenue growth, maintain or improve margin and deliver cash-flow conversion of over 90%,” chief executive Don Robert said in a statement.

The company also said it would sell PriceGrabber, its price comparison shopping business and its North American online lead generation businesses, which operate under the brands Classes USA and LowerMyBills.

The businesses, which are non-core, have been sold to Indian firm Ybrant Digital for $175m, incorporating $100m in cash and a $75m loan note.

Experian said its revenue rose to $4.5bn from $3.9bn the year before. It is paying a second interim dividend of 21.75 cents, making a full year dividend of 32 cents, up 14%.

Shares in Experian closed on Wednesday at 951 pence, valuing the business at £9.6bn.


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