* FY EBIT $1.25 billion, in line with forecasts
* Targets 'mid to high' single-digit revenue growth this
LONDON, May 9 Experian, the world's
biggest credit data company, reported a 7 percent rise in annual
earnings, in line with market expectations, and said it would
buy back shares worth $500 million.
Experian, best known for running consumer credit checks for
banks, landlords and retailers, said its earnings before
interest and tax (EBIT) rose to $1.25 billion in the year to the
end of March.
Chief Executive Don Robert said the company was targeting
"mid to high single-digit" sales growth in the coming year,
excluding acquisitions, and a modest improvement in margins.
"Our global growth programme is growing in scale and
momentum, positioning us strongly for the future and helping us
to withstand economic headwinds in some of our markets," he
The company, which holds credit information on over 740
million consumers and 70 million businesses worldwide, said the
biggest contributors to growth were fraud and identity
management, telecommunications and geographic expansion in
countries such as Colombia and Russia.
Experian said it had also benefited from strong performances
in North America and Latin America.
The company is paying a second interim dividend of 24 U.S.
cents, giving a full-year dividend of 34.75 U.S. cents, up 9
percent. It plans to buy back have a billion dollars worth of
shares in the next 12 months.
Shares in Experian, which have risen by over 20 percent over
the past year, closed on Wednesday at 1,172 pence, valuing the
FTSE-100 firm at 11.7 billion pounds.