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Profits swell for Experian amid increased demand for money-saving tools

Credit data firm Experian has seen its revenues rise as it revealed more customers are using analytics to show the impact of higher energy bills on households.

The firm reported a 7% increase in ongoing revenue for the first half of the financial year, from 3 billion US dollars (£2.5 billion) last year to 3.2 billion US dollars this year (£2.7 billion).

The FTSE 100-listed company, which provides credit checks for businesses and consumers, said sales were driven up by new products, new clients and an expansion of its consumer base.

It also reported rising profits, with benchmark earnings reaching 881 million US dollars (£738 million), up 8% from 813 billion US dollars (£681 million) this time last year.

Experian said it has a “key role” to play in helping communities deal with cost-of-living pressures because it gives people and businesses the tools to manage their finances and save money.

In the UK, recent financial volatility has led to some changes in customer behaviour, the group said.

Lenders have become more focused on risk-based analysis and adjusting their criteria for new customers, indicating they are more wary of who they lend to and the risks they take on.

Among its utility and energy clients, Experian noted it has seen greater demand for analytics which reveal the impact of energy price impacts on households.

The company, which employs more than 21,000 people in 30 countries, said it now reaches 145 million free consumer members across its three largest markets, up nearly a fifth year-on-year.

Members can use the service to check their credit score and receive credit reports, as well as compare cards and loans.

Brian Cassin, Experian’s chief executive, said: “We delivered another strong performance in the first half driven by new products, new business wins and consumer expansion.

“While we expect economic conditions to be tougher over the balance of the year, and face some stronger comparables in the third quarter, our full-year expectations are unchanged.

“With many households and businesses facing a difficult period of rising costs in the coming months, we will also continue to push ahead with our mission to help millions of people improve their financial health and save money.”

Analysts noted that Experian is well-positioned to weather economic storms, partly because people are likely to be more stringent with their finances when times are tough.

Matt Britzman, an equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “This was a decent half for Experian who’ve been able to maintain momentum despite consumers and businesses dealing with higher inflation and rising costs.

“The threat of a global downturn very much remains, though, but as consumers work through their savings and look to borrowing to finance their lifestyles, Experian is in a position to get some relief there.

“There’s already signs that lenders are looking to perform additional due diligence when lending. Services like additional affordability and customer segment analysis have seen higher demand.”