Experian beats profit forecast

Credit information firm Experian narrowly beat profit forecasts, helped by a recovering US banking sector and expansion in Latin America, and said it was set for good growth this year.

Experian, best known for carrying out consumer credit checks for banks and retailers, made a benchmark pretax profit of $973m (£598m) in the year to 31 March, up 14 per cent on the previous year, the company said.

Analysts had expected a profit of $953m, according to a consensus forecast calculated by the company.

Experian said in January that it had returned to growth in all its major markets, drawing a line under the financial crisis which sapped revenues from its key banking sector clients.

The company, which raised its dividend 22 per cent to 28 cents per share, said it expects revenues to grow in the "mid-high single digit" range this year.

The stock has risen by 80 percent in the last two years, beating a 50 percent increase in the FTSE 100 share index.