Pearson hikes profit outlook for 2010 again

Steve Dinneen
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PEARSON continued its blistering run of form yesterday, raising its 2010 profit forecast for the second time in three months.

The group, which owns Penguin and the Financial Times, said it now expected to report operating profit for 2010 of around £850m, an increase of around 20 per cent.

The firm says its improved outlook was driven by its investments in education, digital products and emerging markets.

Pearson said its growth came across the board, with education performing strongly, the Financial Times division set to report “substantial profit growth” and Penguin Books eyeing record results after a strong Christmas.

Its North American education business also achieved market share gains following its investment in digital products, setting it up for good sales growth and margin improvement, Pearson said .

Shares in the group closed up 4.47 per cent to an eight month high of £10.51 after the upgrade – its third for the year.

Chief executive Marjorie Scardino said: “For the third successive year, our growth is vigorous even though market conditions have been anaemic.

“That confirms the soundness of our strategy and the increasing strength of our market positions. We are on the right road and set out on 2011 with confidence that we will have another good year.”

Earlier this week the firm announced it has acquired a majority stake in Indian online education business TutorVista.