One word sums up Experian’s growth during the last financial year: sluggish.
Total revenues were $4.8bn (£3.1bn), while revenue growth was at one per cent at actual exchange rates, rising to three per cent at constant currency rates. Organic revenue rose one per cent, after a stronger final quarter.
Benchmark profit before tax was £1.2bn, rising four per cent at constant exchange rates and remaining flat at actual rates.
Why it’s interesting
Experian works in a range of markets, including Latin America, the UK and Ireland, North America, and Asia Pacific. Latin America is traditionally a strong operation, with the purchase of Brazilian company Serasa six years ago providing an engine for expansion.
However, the forex market and Brazil’s weakening economy have muted growth: measured by earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) growth at constant currency rates was just two per cent in Latin America, just one percentage point above the North American operation, which has long been said to be struggling.
The strongest EBIT growth came in the UK and Ireland, where it was up 11 per cent at constant currency.
What Experian said
Brian Cassin, chief executive, said:
We have accomplished a lot in what has been an important year of transition for Experian. We delivered strong growth across many parts of the business, have made further progress with earnings and are increasing returns to shareholders. We finished the year well, with organic growth improving as we exited the year. We are also executing well on the five strategic priorities we outlined earlier this year. Regionally, we saw particularly good performances from our operations in North America Credit Services, UK and Ireland, Asia Pacific and Brazil where we continue to outperform a weak economy.
The foreign exchange winds are hardly filling Experian’s sales, and the company will be hoping for more bullish figures from both North and South American markets this year.