Education and 'good publishing' at Penguin drive Pearson

<p>Penguin has seen double-digit growth in the first nine months of 2009, according to a trading update from its parent Pearson. Pearson Education has reported headline growth of 25%. While at the Pearson Group sales rose 20% and operating profits up 19%, which it reported was &quot;ahead of expectations&quot;.</p><p>The result means Pearson has raised its guidance for the year, a move which has sent its share price to a 52-week high in early trading this morning (20th October). Marjorie Scardino, chief executive, said: &quot;We began 2009 in a cautious mood, wary of the impact of the global economic crisis on our company. We have now seen enough of it to say that, though no part of Pearson has been untouched, the company as a whole has proved its strength.&quot; At constant exchange rates, sales and profits were up 2% and 3% respectively.<br /><br />Penguin&#39;s sales were up 12%, but declined by 4% at constant exchange rates and by 2% on an underlying basis. Pearson said that tough retail conditions were offset by a &quot;good publishing performance&quot;. It said e-book sales grew four-fold over the period with more than 12,000 Penguin e-books now available.<br /><br />Key titles for its third quarter included <em>The Help</em> by Kathryn Stockett; <em>Jamie&#39;s America</em> by Jamie Oliver, <em>Ooh! What a Lovely Pair</em> by Ant and Dec, and <em>Juliet, Naked</em> by Nick Hornby. The publisher announced earlier this year that it would be making 10% of its workforce redundant, as it restructures the business. The consultation process is ongoing.</p><p>Pearson Education reported &quot;significant&quot; growth in its international academic publishing programme. During the trading period, sales were up 18% on a headline basis and 10% at CER. The statement said: &quot;Our good growth in Latin America, Southern Africa, the Gulf region and the UK has been partially offset by weaker market conditions in Spain and Japan.&quot;</p>