May 15, 2019 / 7:06 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Experian full-year profit inches up on N America strength

(Adds revenue, analyst estimate, share buyback, outlook)

May 15 (Reuters) - Experian Plc reported a slightly higher annual pretax profit on Wednesday, as more banks and businesses in North America hired the world’s biggest credit data company.

The company’s statutory pretax profit rose 1% to $957 million for the year ended March 31, but was lower than analysts’ estimates of $1.13 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The London-listed company and its smaller peers — Equifax Inc and TransUnion — generate credit reports and scores based on consumer borrowing and payment habits, including bankruptcies and court judgements.

Experian said for the full-year 2020 it expects organic revenue growth between 6% and 8% and sees benchmark core earnings growth at or above revenue growth.

The company also announced a new share purchase programme of up to $400 million and said it had completed $215 million in share repurchases.

Experian said full-year statutory revenue rose 6% to $4.86 billion, in line with estimates.

Total revenue in North America, the company’s largest market, rose 11% to $2.91 billion boosted by new clients and product launches, while revenue in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific rose 14% to $422 million.

The company’s shares were down 1.2% at 2,182 pence in early trade. (Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr and Shounak Dasgupta)

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