Business

Pearson shares hit by profit warning

Pearson

Last Updated at 22 Sep 2017, 15:23 GMT *Chart shows local time Pearson intraday chart
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Shares in Pearson, the education and media group that owns the Financial Times, have fallen 8% after it issued a profit warning.

The firm said its trading and financial performance last year was "weaker than expected", with a poor performance at its North American education business.

Operating profits before restructuring charges are set to be £865m.

This is a 5% fall on the figure for last year and below analysts' expectations of about £900m.

Pearson said it had faced "tough market conditions" throughout 2013, with pressure on its two key markets in North America and the UK.

It said its education business in North America had suffered from pressure on state budgets and lower student enrolments.

The company launched a restructuring programme last year to try to offset cutbacks in education budgets.

Pearson has also merged its Penguin book publishing unit into a joint venture with Bertelsmann's Random House.

Restructuring charges are expected to be about £130m, the company said.

On the plus side, Pearson said it had seen "good profit growth" at the Financial Times, with strong growth in digital subscriptions offsetting weak advertising sales and lower print circulation.

Chief executive John Fallon said: "Pearson made good progress on our strategic goals in 2013 but our trading and financial performance has been weaker than expected, particularly in North America.

"With trading conditions still challenging in 2014, this further underlines the importance of the work we started in 2013 to reduce our established cost base and redirect our investment towards our biggest future growth opportunities."

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