"Tough conditions" for Pearson in 2014

"Tough conditions" for Pearson in 2014

Academic publisher Pearson faced “tough market conditions in 2014” in North America and the UK, according to a trading update released today (21st January).

The company said policy and cyclical pressures affected its two biggest markets, while a smaller school textbook update in South Africa also had an impact.

Pearson said it saw a “solid trading performance” from its North American higher education business and Penguin Random House in the fourth quarter of 2014.

It expects 2014 results to be in line with adjusted operating profit to be £720m. Pearson will release its annual results on 27th February.

Chief executive John Fallon said: “Despite continuing challenging market conditions, overall we had a good competitive performance in 2014 and expect to report results in line with the guidance we gave at the start of the year.

"We enter 2015 a simpler, leaner, more cash generative business, well set for long-term growth and success, helping more people around the world make progress in their lives through learning.”

Pearson said it benefitted from “good growth in online services in both school and higher education in North America, English language learning in China, and improving profitability in FT Group; offset by declines in publishing in South Africa, Sistemas in Brazil, and learning services and assessments in our North America and core markets”.

It said its restructuring had “gone well”, with more details on this to be disclosed when it releases its annual results.

Pearson’s new organisational structure, created in a bid to accelerate its advances into digital learning, education services and emerging markets, came into effect in January 2014. The restructure has included job losses.