Experian returns to growth as banks recover and call on credit services

City A.M. Reporter
UK CREDIT information firm Experian said it had returned to growth in all its major markets, drawing a line under the financial crisis which sapped revenues from its banking sector clients.

Experian, best known for carrying out consumer credit checks for banks and retailers, said yesterday it had returned to “positive growth across all regions and principal activities,” helped by recovery in its core markets.

Experian finance chief Paul Brooks said the company, whose credit-checking activities were hit hard after the 2008 financial crisis choked much bank lending, had benefitted from a banking sector upturn in the US.

“In the US right now we do see the major lenders cautiously looking to grow their businesses again, and we’re seeing the major lenders looking to acquire new customers,” he said.

Banks in Britain and mainland Europe have lagged their US counterparts by about six months since the onset of the crisis, and remain in defensive mode for now, Brooks added.

Experian’s total revenues in the third quarter were up 12 per cent at constant exchange rates, driven by Latin America, where they rose 18 per cent.

Experian’s expectations for the year to 31 March 2011 are unchanged, and the company is “reasonably comfortable” with analysts’ current consensus forecast for a 10.3 per cent rise in earnings before interest and tax, Brooks said.