Pearson in 'strong position' to weather Brexit uncertainties

Pearson in 'strong position' to weather Brexit uncertainties

Pearson’s chief executive John Fallon has said the company “fully respects” the outcome of the EU referendum despite its own view the UK would have been "better off" inside the EU.

Part of a note sent to employees on Friday (24th June), and posted as a blog today (28th June), Fallon emphasised Pearson’s “strong position” as a company, with more than half of its revenues derived from the US in dollars, in a bid to console and reassure employees during the "uncertain times” brought about by the result.

In addition to Pearson’s "solid balance sheet with low debt”, which Fallon said would help it to "weather" the uncertainties, he went on to stress that the company had a global identity. 

"Although we care deeply about the UK, we are the world’s learning company," said Fallon. "We will continue to be advocates for a world that is more open and connected. It is vital that the UK’s world class universities should continue to attract the brightest young people from around the world to enrich our education community.

"For now, the important thing for us is to stay focused on our business and our customers. We will take our time and work through every implication for our business and our growth. We will also play our part in helping maintain the outward-looking United Kingdom and globally connected education community that are in the interests of us all."

Pearson, which decided in January to reduce headcount by 10%, conceded 2015 was a "tough year" after seeing shares tumble in October 2015 and annual sales drop 2% owing to "challenges" in some of the company's biggest markets.

It is currently aiming to hit an £800m EBITA target by 2018, with growth opportunies including courseware and the online programme management (OPM) business.

The company, which owns 47% stake in Penguin Random House, is not expected to discuss a sale of its stake in PRH until at least 2017.