Experian to restructure in cost-savings drive

LONDON Thu Nov 8, 2012 10:32am GMT

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LONDON (Reuters) - Credit data firm Experian Plc (EXPN.L) is to spend $110 million (69 million pounds) on a restructuring programme aimed at reducing costs and increasing its focus on key markets.

Chief Executive Don Robert said the company, best known for running consumer credit checks for banks and retailers, expects the initiative to result in annual savings of about $75 million.

Experian, which reported 6 percent growth in underlying pretax profit in the first half, will increase its use of off-shore facilities, reduce its exposure to lower-growth activities and lower its fixed costs relating to facilities, technology and infrastructure, Robert said.

A spokesman for the company said it anticipated 300 jobs would be cut over the next two years as a result of the plans, equivalent to less than 2 percent of Experian's 17,000 workforce and mainly in North America, Europe and Britain.

The company will also lift its investment in new customer segments such as the U.S. public sector and healthcare payments and expand in high-growth markets including Russia, Turkey and Colombia.

Experian's underlying pretax profit of $563 million in the six months to September 30 was ahead of the $561 million expected by analysts in a company poll.

Experian said it expected to achieve high single-digit organic revenue growth for the full year.

The company said the improvement reflected revenue growth across all of its regions and businesses, including double-digit growth in Latin America and its consumer services division.

Total revenue reached $2.3 billion, the group said, including organic revenue growth (excluding acquisitions) of 8 percent based on constant exchange rates. Organic growth in Latin America was 17 percent.

Shares in Experian, which have risen by more than 30 percent over the past year, were up 0.4 percent to 1,048 pence at 0930 GMT.

"In an uncertain world, with just 5 percent of group revenue from Eurozone economies, we continue to view Experian as a core support services holding," said Jefferies analyst Justin Jordan.

(Editing by David Holmes)

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