November 15, 2017 / 8:13 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Experian profit rises 6 pct, eyes Equifax breach

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Nov 15 (Reuters) - Profits at Experian Plc rose 6 percent in the first half as the world’s biggest credit checker reported some initial gains from a data breach at U.S. rival Equifax and broader growth across its operations.

The FTSE 100 company, which is best known for running consumer credit checks for banks, landlords and retailers, said operating profit rose to $518 million for the six months to Sept. 30 from $490 million a year earlier.

Revenue from ongoing activities rose 5 percent to $2.19 billion.

“Looking ahead, we continue to expect good levels of growth for the year, with organic revenue growth in the mid-single digit range and stable margins,” Chief Executive Officer Brian Cassin said in a statement.

Experian said it had seen a spike in enrolments at its new identity monitoring service in the immediate aftermath of the Equifax data breach.

One of the worst cyber attacks in history has seen Equifax managers dragged before U.S. lawmakers, its chief executive resign and formal state and federal probes launched into the September incident.

The two firms, along with U.S.-based TransUnion dominated the generation of credit reports and scores based on consumers’ borrowing and payment habits, including bankruptcies and court judgements.

Lawmakers have indicated the firms will be subject to stricter regulatory monitoring following the Equifax data breach.

Revenue at Experian’s credit services business, which accounts for 55 percent of its sales, rose 6 percent at constant currency rates to 1.23 billion pounds. That for its consumer services division fell to 460 million pounds at constant currency rates.

Growth of 6 percent in Experian’s biggest market North America and strong performance in Latin America and EMEA-Asia Pacific helped offset a 3 percent fall in organic revenue in the UK and Ireland, Experian said.

The company said it would pay an interim dividend of 13.5 cents per share, 4 percent higher than a year earlier.

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely

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