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Data firm Experian firms up annual goals after strong first half

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(Reuters) – Information services firm Experian Plc <EXPN.L> reported higher first-half profit on Tuesday, citing strong business in its main North American market, and said organic revenue growth would reach the upper end of its prior targets for the year.

Experian, the world’s largest credit data company, said pretax profit rose to $480 million for the six months ended Sept. 30 from $470 million a year earlier, while organic revenue jumped 7% to $2.50 billion over the same period.

“This was another half of good progress with strong momentum in North America, Latin America back to strong levels of growth, and pleasing progress in Consumer Services,” Chief Executive Officer Brian Cassin said.

The London-listed company narrowed its full-year organic revenue growth forecast to a 7-8% range from the 6-8% target it announced when it published its last annual results in May.

Popularity of the company’s Ascend product, a platform that integrates client data, industry-specific data feeds and analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence, has helped the company overcome an economic slowdown in the United States.

Experian also generates credit reports, including on bankruptcies and court judgements, and scores based on borrowing and payment habits of consumers.

In its first-half update, the blue-chip company said registered customers on its website that allows a person to check their credit score for free surged 56% to 70 million.

Experian, which operates 17 consumer and 11 business information bureaus employing 17,200, competes with smaller players Equifax <EFX.N> and TransUnion <TRU.N>. Both have reported estimate-beating results for the last quarter.

Shares in the company, which have by far outperformed the FTSE 100 index this year, were expected to open 2-3% higher on Tuesday according to pre-market indicators.

Graphic: Experian, https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/buzzifr/15/415/415/experian.png

(Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)

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