Pearson denies FT sale talk and sets out plans for restructuring

Marion Dakers
THE NEW chief executive of publishing group Pearson yesterday insisted that the Financial Times is not for sale, as he revealed a £200m restructuring plan intended to focus the firm on its growing digital education business.

Pearson posted a one per cent rise in adjusted 2012 operating profit to £936m yesterday, though one-offs in the previous year meant statutory pre-tax profits slumped 59 per cent to £434m. Revenues rose five per cent at £6.1bn at constant exchange rates.

Sales at the FT Group rose an underlying four per cent to £443m, as digital and services revenues made up 50 per cent of revenues, up from 31 per cent in 2008. Digital subscriptions exceed print circulation for the first time, and mobile devices now account for 30 per cent of FT website traffic.

“I have said the business is not for sale, nor have we initiated, conducted, encouraged in any shape or form, any sort of process whatsoever, nor have I had any conversations with anybody about the sale of the FT,” chief executive John Fallon said.

He said the reorganisation will cost £150m in 2013 and deliver £100m in annual savings from 2014.