Experian plc (LON:EXPN), the global information services company, today issued its financial report for the year ended 31 March 2020.
Brian Cassin, Chief Executive Officer, commented:
“The past year was a strong one for Experian. We delivered organic revenue growth at the top end of our revenue guidance range and finished the year strongly in Q4. The COVID-19 crisis began to escalate late into our financial year with limited financial impact in FY20. We took swift action across our business in response to the unfolding crisis. We have operations in 45 countries and numerous industry segments, including in many of the societies hardest hit by the pandemic. Our priorities have been to protect our people, to secure our business financially and operationally, to focus on how we can help the millions of consumers who are financially affected, as well as to assist governments and our clients as they respond to the crisis.
“The vast majority of our employees are working from home and our operations continue to function smoothly. Our business is strongly cash generative and we have a robust balance sheet and funding liquidity. While we continue to assess the impact of the crisis on our markets, and we expect near-term revenue to be affected, the nature of our business means we have a degree of resilience. We are taking mitigating cost actions in the short term, but we are also positioning ourselves to emerge strongly by continuing to invest in our people and growth initiatives.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the fundamental importance of data as we tackle this unprecedented challenge. We are proud of the way our people and business have stepped up to provide broader help in this time of crisis. We have a role to play in helping societies recover, and we are leading the way in providing education, advice and free tools to consumers as well as significant and valuable help to governments across the world. We are confident that, once the crisis abates, we will be well placed to continue to deliver on our growth agenda. Accordingly, we have held our second interim dividend level at 32.5 cents per share.”
Benchmark and Statutory financial highlights
|Actual rates growth %||Constant rates growth %||Organic growth %2|
|Revenue – ongoing activities||5,179||4,855||7||9||8|
|Benchmark EBIT – ongoing activities3||1,387||1,306||6||9||n/a|
|Total Benchmark EBIT||1,387||1,311||6||9||n/a|
|Benchmark EPS||USc 103.0||USc 98.0||5||8||n/a|
|Profit before tax||942||957||(2)||5||n/a|
|Basic EPS||USc 74.8||USc 76.9||(3)||6||n/a|
|Total dividend||USc 47.0||USc 46.5||1||n/a||n/a|
1 See Appendix 1 (page 13) and note 5 to the financial statements (pages 23-25) for definitions of non-GAAP measures.
2 Organic revenue growth at constant currency.
3 See page 14 for reconciliation of Benchmark EBIT from ongoing activities to Profit before tax.
· Strong FY20 financial performance.
- Full year organic revenue growth of 8%, with Q4 organic revenue growth of 10%.
- Full year organic revenue growth in B2B and Consumer Services of 7% and 10% respectively.
- Full year regional organic growth rates of 11% in North America, 13% in Latin America, (2%) in UK and Ireland and (3%) in EMEA/Asia Pacific.
- Q4 regional organic growth rates of 13% in North America, 12% in Latin America, (5%) in UK and Ireland and 7% in EMEA/Asia Pacific.
- Q4 organic revenue growth in Business-to-Business (B2B) and Consumer Services of 9% and 11% respectively.
- Benchmark EBIT (ongoing activities) growth at constant exchange rates of 9%.
- Benchmark EBIT margin of 26.8%.
- Benchmark EPS growth of 8% at constant rates and basic EPS growth of (3%) at actual exchange rates.
· Strategic highlights
- A strong year for new product innovation with a focus on scaling new B2B platforms: Ascend, Experian One, Open Data and CrossCore all progressed in the year.
- Brazil grew strongly. Positive data now launched.
- Consumer Services’ diversification and expansion gathered momentum with millions of new free memberships taking the total to 82m. Significant progress in Experian Boost – unique account connections of 3m US consumers. Latin America Consumer Services revenue now material with momentum.
- Further strategic progress with US$700m investment in acquisitions, including Compuscan. After the year end we agreed to acquire a majority stake in Germany’s second largest credit bureau.
· Continuing commitment to shareholder returns and disciplined capital allocation.
- Second interim dividend of 32.5 US cents per ordinary share, unchanged year-on-year, to bring the total for FY20 to 47.0 US cents per share.
- Completed US$189m of the net share repurchase programme. Programme suspended since March 2020.