Experian post Q3 update

Source: Experian

Experian, the global information services company, today issues an interim management statement which includes an update on trading for the three months to 31 December 2008.

Commenting on the performance of Experian, Don Robert, Chief Executive Officer, said: "Experian performed well in the third quarter, delivering good growth in organic revenue, helped by strong execution on countercyclical initiatives, an excellent performance at Consumer Direct, improvement at UK Credit Services and higher levels of consumer refinancing activity in the US. At constant exchange rates, total revenue growth for the third quarter was 6%, with organic revenue growth of 5%. However, with the external environment expected to remain challenging for some time, we are likely to see some moderation in the rate of organic revenue growth in the fourth quarter.

'We continue to adapt our business to the current market environment. Our cost efficiency programme is progressing well and for the full year we are on track to achieve our objectives of broadly maintaining margins, growing profits and delivering strong cash flow conversion."

In the three months to 31 December 2008, revenue from continuing activities at Experian increased by 6% at constant exchange rates. Group organic revenue growth was 5% year-on-year, with growth across all four regions and all four principal activities. By principal activity, organic revenue growth was 3% at Credit Services, 2% at Decision Analytics and 1% at Marketing Services, and there was strong growth at Interactive of 14%, driven by Consumer Direct. Acquisitions contributed 1% to revenue growth.

During the quarter, Experian disposed of its transaction processing activities in France and made two acquisitions, KreditInform and SearchAmerica. Disposal inflows, less acquisition outflows (including deferred payments) and transaction expenses, totalled approximately US$70m.

North America

Revenue in North America increased by 3% in total. Organic revenue growth was 3%. SearchAmerica (acquired in December 2008) made a small contribution in the period.

Organic revenue at Credit Services was down by 4%. A pick-up in consumer refinancing activity led to increased demand for acquisition profiles and this helped to offset ongoing weakness in pre-screen revenues. Decision Analytics delivered organic revenue growth of 2%, reflecting good performance by countercyclical products. There was a modest decline in organic revenue at Marketing Services of 3%, reflecting weak conditions across the retail market. New media activities performed well in the quarter, but this was offset by weakness in more traditional marketing activities. Interactive returned to double-digit organic revenue growth, at 11%, as Consumer Direct again delivered an excellent performance.

Latin America

Revenue for Latin America increased by 15% at constant exchange rates. Organic revenue growth was 15%.

Organic revenue at Credit Services rose by 14%. Business information continued to perform strongly in the quarter, driven in part by new business wins and strong growth in acquisition profiles. Consumer information delivered good growth, against somewhat tighter credit lending conditions in Brazil. There were very strong performances at both Decision Analytics and Marketing Services, with organic revenue growth of 38% and 44% respectively.

UK and Ireland

Revenue in UK and Ireland from continuing activities increased by 5% at constant exchange rates. Organic revenue growth was 5%.

Credit Services returned to growth in the quarter, up 2%, helped by a strong performance in the UK public sector vertical. As expected, there was some adverse phasing at Decision Analytics, where organic revenue growth was 2%. In underlying terms, demand for account management and collections software has continued to be strong. Marketing Services saw good performances across new media and, helped by a weaker comparable, delivered organic revenue growth of 1%. Interactive performed very strongly, with organic revenue growth of 50%, reflecting further market penetration of CreditExpert.

EMEA/Asia Pacific

At constant exchange rates, revenue in EMEA/Asia Pacific increased by 14%. Organic revenue growth was 3%, with acquisitions, mainly KreditInform in South Africa (acquired in December 2008) and Sinotrust in China (uplift in stake to majority control in March 2008), contributing the balance.

Organic revenue growth at Credit Services was 4%. There was good progress across the region, despite tighter credit conditions in some markets. As expected, the performance at Decision Analytics was affected by a large prior-year one-off win and organic revenue declined by 2%. Marketing Services continued to perform strongly, up 10%, with further progress in email services, contact data management and internet marketing intelligence (Hitwise).

There has been no change since 30 September 2008 to Experian's general financial position, which remains strong, and no material change to Experian's trading position to the date of this statement.

Future announcements

Experian will issue its second half trading update on 16 April 2009.

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