Pearson records drop in sales, small profit increase in 2014
Pearson has recorded £4.9bn (A$9.7bn) in sales in 2014, down 4% or £195m (A$386m) from 2013, according to its unaudited financial results. Profits are up 1% over the same period to £720m (A$1.42bn). The sales figures exclude results for Penguin Random House, of which Pearson owns 47%.
The publisher attributed the drop in sales to a strong UK currency relative to the US, which reduced sales by £272m (A$538m) and operating profits by £49m (A$97m).
In Australia, Pearson benefited from the launch of the ‘locally standardised version of the Wechsler Pre and Primary Scale of Intelligence (fourth edition)’, an intelligence test designed for children. Pearson also noted modest growth in Australian Learning Services revenue, from growth in core subjects such as biology and from direct-to-institution sales of digital products. A collaboration with Monash University, called Monash Online, showed good growth and more courses will be launched in the second half of 2015.
Chief executive John Fallon noted that a major restructure that began in 2013 was completed last year, and Pearson is looking to return to fast-growing markets and stronger financial returns in 2015. ‘We’ve completed our intense two year restructuring and reinvestment programme and performed well competitively despite some challenging market conditions,’ said Fallon.
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