By Najat Kantouar

Experian's shares soar and are leading the FTSE 100 index risers after the company reported a higher pretax profit boosted by strong momentum across its core business.

Shares at 0849 GMT were up 242 pence, or 7%, at 3,711 pence. They are up 17% over the year-to-date.

The credit-reporting agency said Wednesday that pretax profit for the year ended March 31 was $1.55 billion compared with $1.17 billion for the same period a year earlier. That missed market consensus of $1.59 billion based on seven analysts' forecast taken from FactSet.

Revenue rose to $7.1 billion from $6.62 billion, ahead of consensus of $7.06 billion based on fifteen analysts.

All four of its regions contributed positively to revenue growth, it said. North America organic revenue grew 5%, Latin America 13%, and U.K. and Ireland 2%. Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific organic revenue was up 7%.

Consumer Services organic revenue grew 7%, with 180 million free members, as it continues to expand its products and services.

The board has declared a second interim dividend of 40.50 cents a share taking the total payout for the year to 58.50 cents, up from 54.75 cents a year earlier. It also plans to buyback up to $150 million worth of shares in fiscal 2025 to offset shares issued under employee plans. It bought back $129 million worth of shares in fiscal 2024.

"Looking further ahead, we expect the combination of economic recovery, continued new product and vertical market expansion as well as productivity gains from technology cloud transition to elevate our financial performance," Chief Executive Officer Brian Cassin said

In fiscal 2025, Experian expects to deliver organic revenue growth in the range of 6% to 8% and good margin expansion, in the range of 30-50 basis points, at constant currency.

Write to Najat Kantouar at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-15-24 0510ET