British credit information group Experian Plc said its benchmark pretax profit grew 12 percent in the first half as it reported its best organic revenue growth in four years.

The company, which declared first interim dividend of 9.0 US cents per share, up 29 percent year-on-year, said it will continue to evaluate options for returning surplus cash to shareholders.

Following the announcement, shares of Experian, a constituent of FTSE 100 index, are trading 2.13 percent higher at 718.50 pence at 08:29 am GMT on the London Stock Exchange.

For the six-month period ended September 30, the company's benchmark pretax profit increased to $450 million from $401 million. Pretax profit fell to $283 million from $316 million.

Revenue rose to $2 billion from $1.8 billion. Total revenue growth from continuing activities was 8 percent and organic revenue growth was 7 percent, the group said.

We performed strongly in the first half.....trends have improved modestly, with generally more favourable conditions across the majority of our markets, said chief executive Don Robert.

Region-wise, organic revenue growth was 6 percent in North America, 22 percent in Latin America, flat in the UK and Ireland and 4 percent in EMEA/Asia Pacific.

Segment-wise, organic revenue grew 6 percent at Credit Services, 10 percent at Marketing Services and 9 percent at Interactive, while falling 1 percent at Decision Analytics.

Experian said EBIT margin improved 10 basis points to 24.3 percent, despite some headwinds in the half.

Looking ahead for the full year, the company expects similar rates of organic revenue growth to the first half, and modest improvement in its EBIT margin.

Providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 90 countries, Experian helps businesses to manage credit risk, detect fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and score, besides protecting their identity from theft.