Experian, the credit reference and anti-fraud company, has hiked its interim dividend by 14% after a strong financial performance in the first half of its financial year.
Revenues of $2.3bn were up 15% on 2010's figure of $2.0bn. On a constant exchange rates (CER) basis, revenue was up 11% year-on-year, though some of this was achieved through acquisitions; organic revenue growth came in at 6%.
Headline pre-tax profits rose 20% in the six months to the end of September to $539m from $450m the year before. That beat the forecast of pre-tax profits of $500m made by broker Charles Stanley.
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Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose 16% to $650m from a year earlier, or 12% using CER. Growth was driven by a strong performance from Latin America, where EBIT on a CER basis rose 25% to $157m from $115m the year before. North America saw EBIT rise 8%, while earnings growth in the UK and Ireland was 9% but the Europe, Middle East and Africa/Asia Pacific region let the side down with EBIT down 8% year-on-year.
Group EBIT margin rose from 24.3% last year to 24.55 this time round.
Chief Executive, Don Roberts, said "we expect organic revenue growth at least as strong as the first half. For the year as a whole, we reiterate our expectations of modest margin improvement and strong cash flow conversion."
The interim dividend has been lifted to 10.25 cents.
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