Wednesday 14 October 2020 8:04 am

Pearson sales slump amid Covid-19 closures of schools and test centres

Educational publisher Pearson (PSON) has suffered a drop in sales since the beginning of the year after the coronavirus pandemic forced test centres and schools to close. 

Group sales in the nine months to 30 September fell 14 per cent, reflecting the continued impact of the Covid-19 crisis. 

Read more: Pearson appoints Disney veteran Andy Bird as new chief executive

The company said its online learning sales had increased 14 per cent as enrolment in virtual schools jumped 41 per cent due to more students studying remotely. 

Global assessment sales fell 19 per cent due to the impact of test centre closures, the cancellation of spring testing in the US and school closures.

Pearson’s North American courseware fell 14 per cent, with a stronger performance in Autumn and a good growth in digital and subscription take-up.

The firm’s international division sales declined 24 per cent. 

Pearson chief executive John Fallon said: “Our digital performance is very strong, as we support customers and learners around the world as they shift to fully online and hybrid learning. 

“This has been a challenging transformation for all of us but we are starting to see the benefit of all our work to ensure Pearson becomes the winner in digital learning. We are focusing on what learners care most about – a fantastic user experience, enabling better learning outcomes and offering great value.

“Pearson is a special company, doing something that really matters to the wider world, and I wish it every future success.” 

More to follow

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