Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pearson Says 2008 Profit Rose 20% on Higher Education

Pearson Plc, the publisher of the Financial Times newspaper, said earnings excluding some items rose about 20 percent in 2008, exceeding analyst estimates, helped by demand for education offerings.

The economy will be tough this year and “trading conditions will continue to be challenging,” Pearson said in a statement today. Earnings excluding amortization of goodwill in 2007 were 46.7 pence a share, so 20 percent growth would result in a profit of about 56 pence in 2008, beating the 51 pence average estimate compiled by Bloomberg. Pearson shares rose the most in more than a month in London trading.

Growth at the U.S. higher education and international education business more than offset some weakness in the U.S. school publishing market, which was affected by state budget cuts, the company said. Chief Executive Officer Marjorie Scardino has sold assets to focus on the Financial Times and the education business, which publishes textbooks and provides testing for nurses and business-school students.

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