viewPearson PLC

Pearson H1 operating profits fall 10 pct after tougher-than-expected trading


Education and publishing company Pearson (LON:PSON) reported a 10 percent fall in operating profit for the first half to £188 million, and said the trading conditions have been tougher than expected for parts of the business during the period.

The group did, however, reiterate its forecast for the full year of achieving growth in sales and operating profits at constant exchange rates and raised the interim dividend by 7 percent to 15 pence a share.

Sales in the six months to the end of June 2012 rose 6 percent from the previous first half to £2.6 billion.

Chief executive Marjorie Scardino said: "We began 2012 planning for a challenging external environment and our caution was well-placed: conditions have been tough in the early part of this year and, for a couple of parts of Pearson, tougher than expected."

While the Education business and the FT Group – Pearson publishes the Financial Times – showed sales growth of 9 and 7 percent, respectively, its other flagship operation, Penguin books, saw sales down 4 percent from a year earlier and profits almost halved from the previous first half to £22 million.

The FT Group's 2012 results are affected by the sale of FTSE International, but its continuing businesses - The Financial Times, Mergermarket and The Economist Group - have all started the year well with strong growth in digital, the company said.

Pearson continues to expect FT Group profits to be lower in 2012 than in 2011 reflecting the FTSE sale, a weak advertising market and further actions to accelerate the shift from print to digital.

Penguin's first half trading was affected by a lighter publishing schedule, the exceptional performance of competitor bestsellers The Hunger Games and Fifty Shades of Grey and continued pressure on physical book publishing and retailing.

Pearson expects Penguin to be stronger in the second half of the year and expects the structural change to continue.

At 9.25 am, shares were trading at 1,235 pence, down 4.55 percent from yesterday’s close.

Quick facts: Pearson PLC

Price: 583.8 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £4.55 billion

Add related topics to MyProactive

Create your account: sign up and get ahead on news and events


The Company is a publisher. You understand and agree that no content published on the Site constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is...



Full interview: Immotion plans fundraising following deal with Las Vegas resort

Immotion Group (LON:IMMO) has raised gross proceeds of £2.85mln from an 'oversubscribed' fundraising to accelerate its growth plans, and revealed it has inked a revenue-sharing deal with the MGM Mandalay Bay resort and casino in Las Vegas. CEO Martin Higginson tells Proactive London what the...

2 hours, 21 minutes ago


Holding(s) in Company

4 hours, 39 minutes ago

Transaction in Own Shares

1 day, 23 hours ago

Transaction in Own Shares

2 days, 23 hours ago

Transaction in Own Shares

3 days, 22 hours ago

Transaction in Own Shares

6 days, 23 hours ago

Transaction in Own Shares

1 week, 1 day ago

2 min read