July 16, 2020 / 6:46 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Experian first-quarter revenue falls less than expected

(Adds details from statement, background)

July 16 (Reuters) - Experian, the world's biggest credit check company, on Thursday reported a smaller-than-feared fall in organic revenue for the first quarter, as strong performance in its North American business offset a hit from the coronavirus crisis.

Experian, which operates 23 consumer and 11 business information bureaux globally, said revenue fell 2% for the three months ended June 30, compared with the 5% to 10% drop it had expected.

It also forecast current quarter revenue to be in the range of flat to a fall of 5%.

The UK-based company and its U.S. peers Equifax and TransUnion generate credit reports, including on bankruptcies and court judgements, and scores based on borrowing and payment habits of consumers.

Experian, which derives nearly two thirds of its revenue from North America, reported a 4% rise in revenue for that region, citing strength in mortgage volumes.

However, UK and Ireland, Experian's second-biggest market, saw a 15% plunge in revenue for the quarter on the back of a drop in credit volumes as clients tightened credit policies, and lending fell.

"We also experienced delays in client purchasing decisions for software, a near total shutdown in the automotive market, and marketing data revenue was also impacted as advertisers cut back on marketing spend," the company said.

The UK also saw a virtual shutdown in property transactions for much of its coronavirus lockdown. (Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath and Patrick Graham)

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