Experian PLC, the world's largest credit-checking company, said Wednesday that its first-half profit climbed 15% from a year earlier, to $258 million, and that its cost-cutting program is ahead of schedule.
The Dublin company's shares rose as much as 14%, the most since they began trading in October 2006. Experian said it lowered expenses in the period by $29 million by cutting jobs and outsourcing data operations to locations including Kuala Lumpur.
"They are doing a pretty good job at managing a difficult revenue scenario," said Kevin Lapwood, an analyst at Seymour Pierce. "You have to give them credit for taking drastic measures." On Wednesday Mr. Lapwood upgraded Experian shares to "hold," from "sell."
The company raised its annual cost savings target to $130 million for fiscal 2010. "Cost actions have been specific and precise," Experian's chief executive officer, Don Robert, said Wednesday on a conference call with journalists.
The credit-checking company has expanded into emerging markets in eastern Europe, South America, Asia, and Africa to offset declining demand for credit services in the United States and United Kingdom. This month, Experian bought KreditInform, a South African credit company, to add to its consumer-credit business in that country.
Mr. Robert said he expects growth in third-quarter organic revenue, which strips out acquisitions and currency swings, to be similar to the 3% advance in the first half.
Revenue rose 13%, to $2.02 billion.