Pearson boss warns Apple

Steve Dinneen
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Pearson chief executive Marjorie Scardino yesterday expressed her discomfort at the Libyan government being a major shareholder in the firm.

She also hit out at Apple, warning Pearson could leave its platform if it refuses to share user data and demands a 30 per cent cut of subscription revenues.

Scardino said she expected sales, margin and earnings growth in 2011, although trading conditions in some of its markets will remain tough.

She expects Pearson’s school and college testing business to help it build on last year’s strong results.

Pearson, which owns the world’s largest education technology and publishing business as well as the Financial Times and Penguin books, reported an 18 per cent rise in profits on eight per cent higher sales of £5.66bn.

The US has cut school textbook spending but Scardino said this will be offset by growth in testing, where Pearson is making a big push into electronic formats.

Pearson said The Financial Times, where sales rose 12 per cent, benefitted from a recovery in advertising.

Sales at Penguin were up five per cent. Digital book revenue rose 182 per cent and accounted for six per cent of Penguin’s revenue worldwide.