Equifax Inc. said 1994 was the most profitable year in its 95-year history as it made further progress with diversification.

The Atlanta-based information services company, now far more than a credit bureau, recorded $1.4 billion in revenues and $214.1 million in operating income, up 16.8% and 27.8%, respectively, in 1994.

Fourth-quarter revenues were $400.7 million, up 21% from the 1993 figure. The quarter's operating income increased 27% to $63.7 million.

"The fourth quarter of 1994 caps a year of impressive growth for Equifax," said chairman and chief executive officer C.B. Rogers Jr. He predicted continued growth across all operating groups through 1995, emphasizing international operations and health care information services.

The Financial Information Services Group, the biggest part of Equifax, which includes the core credit reporting business, "continued to demonstrate substantial operating leverage," the company said in its yearend summary.

The downturn in the mortgage business, which resulted from higher interest rates, dampened revenue growth, yet operating income increased because of strong demand from banking, automotive, and national credit card issuers.

Equifax spent $262 million on 14 acquisitions in 1994, six of which were international pursuits. It became the first U.S. company to offer credit reporting services on the European continent through a joint venture with Asnef of Spain.

Another joint venture, with Organizacion Veraz and Banelco in Argentina, made Equifax the first U.S. company to provide these services in South America.

Its purchase of Infolink, the third-largest credit referencing company in the United Kingdom, doubled Equifax's credit reporting business there.

In the United States, Equifax expanded its financial services, insurance services, and health information services groups. The company introduced 25 new products, including Pathways, a management system enabling customers to set their own risk parameters for check cashing.

Also in the financial area, Equifax augmented its credit card business by acquiring FBS Software, an Atlanta-based provider of credit card systems to major banks around the world, and introduced Decision Power, an advanced cross-selling tool for retail financial institutions.

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