Pearson profits down on 2012
Pearson, the education and publishing business, warned yesterday that the headwinds that it faced in the final few months of 2012 were likely to continue into the new year.
The owner of the Financial Times said it was on course to report an annual operating profit of £935 million, down from £942 million a year ago.
The group, which earns much of its revenue in the US, said its 2012 numbers had been weighed down by a strengthening of sterling against the dollar.
The group said it was on track to report adjusted earnings per share of about 84p for 2012, down from 86.5p the previous year and roughly in line with analysts’ consensus forecasts of 84.9p.
The publishing group attributed the year-on-year earnings per share slip to the £450 million sale of its 50 per cent stake in the FTSE International index business, which in 2011 contributed £20 million to Pearson’s operating profit, equivalent to 2.2p of EPS.
Pearson’s core North American education business – which earns about 40 per cent of the group’s total revenues – was held back in 2012 by cash-strapped US schools paring back spending on books, educational software and other teaching materials.
Pearson’s international education business is expected to report double-digit sales growth at constant exchange rates, buoyed by strong demand for English language teaching in developing markets.
At Penguin, Pearson’s book publishing arm, the group said that revenues were expected to be in line with 2011 at constant exchange rates “in spite of rapid industry change and tough conditions in the physical book retail market”.
Pearson and Bertelsmann, the German media company, last year signed a deal to merge their publishing arms Penguin and Random House in a joint venture. –
(Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2013)