High anxiety raises profits for Experian

EXPERIAN said yesterday that increasing concern among utilities and telecoms firms over the ability of customers to pay their bills helped drive a 20 per cent jump in profits.
The credit data firm is benefitting as corporates and public sector bodies carry out more consumer checks and try to cut fraud. It said underlying pre-tax profit hit $539m (£338m) in the six months to 30 September, ahead of the $518m forecast by analysts.
Paul Brooks, chief financial officer, told City A.M. that Experian had cut its dependence on financial services and won more work from telecommunications companies, who need to carry out checks as consumers switched from pre-paid to billed accounts.

Demand from utilities, insurers, the public sector and US healthcare industry also pushed up the figures while sales in Latin America rose 31 per cent to $460m.

Don Robert, chief executive, said the company’s minimal exposure to the Eurozone meant it could withstand the sovereign debt crisis.

“I wouldn’t go so far as to say we’re immune from any further trouble in the Eurozone but because of the small footprint of the business we’re not overly concerned or taking any drastic action.”