Experian shrugs off credit crunch

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The Independent Online

The credit checking company Experian shrugged off difficult market conditions in the UK and US to boost revenues by 21 per cent in the second half of the year.

The numbers surprised the market, as doommongers had been predicting huge falls as banks cut back on loans and mortgages, reducing the need for Experian to run credit checks on potential clients.

The better than expected sales for the six months to the end of March sent Experian’s share price up 11 per cent to 395.25p in London today.

While the slowdown in mortgages did contribute to Experian’s consumer information business weakening, the falls were offset by growth in its business information operation, particularly the Decision Analytics unit.

Experian's chief executive Don Robert said its “strong portfolio of businesses enabled the group to deliver a good second-half performance, despite continuing marketplace challenges in the US and the UK”. He added that there was unlikely to be short-term improvement in those markets but “our cost efficiency programme is on track and we remain confident about the outlook”.

Christian Koefoed-Nielsen, an analyst at Panmure Gordon, said: “We have consistently argued that Experian’s business portfolio underpins the group’s defensive qualities in a tough marketplace, and once again results confirm this view.”