Digital sales boost Pearson

Steve Dinneen
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Strong digital sales at publishing group Pearson helped boost its third quarter performance, pushing up its full-year forecasts.

The group now expects full-year earnings to be 10 per cent ahead of 2009 figures, with profits in the last three months up eight per cent year-on-year.

Sales at Penguin were up five per cent, education business sales were up seven per cent and the Financial Times group sales were up 11 per cent, boosted by strong demand for its print, digital subscriptions and growth in advertising.

In education, Pearson said its strategy of moving from a physical book publisher to educational technology had enabled it to gain market share in the US, with sales growth of five per cent. Its Higher Education unit grew strongly and gained market share while the Assessment and Information business remained strong. Pearson said its strength in digital was helping it to grow its School Curriculum business despite weakness in state and local funding.

Sales in International Education were up eight per cent in the nine months, due to growth in developed markets and assessment services. Professional Education also traded strongly, with sales up 17 per cent.

A company spokesman warned the future remains uncertain, with demand in some markets particularly vulnerable to market conditions but added: “We continue to generate significant growth in digital and in developing markets, and to benefit from further efficiency gains.”