Experian PLC (LON:EXPN) shares rose on Tuesday as the credit checking firm said it expects its full-year revenue to be at the top of its guidance range after a solid first-half revenue performance led it to hike its interim dividend.
The FTSE 100-listed firm saw its revenue from ongoing activities rise by 7% at actual exchange rates to US$2.36bn for the six months to September 30, up from US$2.21bn a year earlier, with a 9% increase on a constant currency basis.
However, the company said its first-half pre-tax profit fell by 5% to US$470mln, down from US$495mln a year earlier, due to challenges in Brazil, with the country’s currency having weakened by 18% year-on-year relative to the US dollar.
Experian highlighted a strong performance in North America, with revenue in the region up 13% to US$1.43bn boosted by both its B2B and Consumer Services businesses, while revenue in the Asia Pacific region rose by 11% to US$199mln benefitting from positive contributions in Data and Decisioning.
In the UK & Ireland, the group’s revenue increased by 5.9% to US$396mln as it secured significant multi-product wins in the banking and utilities sectors for its traditional credit services and decisioning software.
Brian Cassin, Experian’s chief executive officer, said: "We now expect full-year organic revenue growth in line with the first half and at the top of our previous guidance range.”
He added: “While foreign exchange translation remains a headwind, we expect EBIT growth at or above revenue growth and strong progress in Benchmark earnings per share, all at constant currency."
Dividend hiked, shares up
The firm is paying an interim dividend of 14.0 US cents, up from 13.5 US cents a year earlier.
In early morning trading, Experian shares were 4.9% higher at 1,881.50p.
In a note to clients, analysts at Shore Capital repeated a ‘buy’ rating on the stock.
They said: “We believe Experian to remain solidly placed to continue its strong organic performance, driven by new products and services with yet deeper client penetration.”