Atlanta-based Equifax profits up despite costs of data breach

The claims that the investigation was going to be closed without any action got the attention of lawmakers

The massive data breach cost Equifax $114 million last year, including $26.5 million in costs during the fourth quarter, the company announced late Thursday.

As part of its quarterly earnings announcement, senior officials at the Atlanta-based company said they believe the company finished the year well, despite the public relations black eye suffered earlier with the data breach and its initial handling.

“Our fourth quarter results underscore solid progress on multiple fronts," said Paulino Barros, interim chief executive officer, in a statement. “We invested heavily in advancing our data security infrastructure and improving our consumer support, and we delivered on our financial commitments.”

The company reported revenue of $838.5 million during the fourth quarter, up 5 percent from the same three months a year earlier.

Net income during the quarter was $172.3 million, soaring 40 percent from the level of a year before.

“While the job is not over, I believe we have responded well,” Barros said in the statement.

For the full year, Equifax reported revenue of $3.4 billion, a 7 percent increase from 2016. Net income was up 20 percent to $587.3 million.

Earlier Thursday, the company said it had identified 2.4 million additional victims of the hacking that occurred last year and would notify those people by mail.

The company said hackers access driver’s license numbers, but not Social Security numbers for those people.

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