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Pearson reports earnings fall


Owner of the FT and Penguin Books lowers 2012 EPS to 84p

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Global publisher Pearson, owner of Penguin books and the Financial Times, issued a trading warning on Monday that 2013 will be a tough year.  

Blaming weak fourth quarter earnings, Pearson said it now expects to report adjusted earnings per share (EPS) figure of around 84 pence for 2012 on 25 February, below the 84.9 pence it had predicted in October. The previous year's EPS was 86.5 pence.

It attributed this to weaker educational funding in developed markets, especially the US and UK. Pearson also said advertising revenues had been sluggish.

However, it said its international arm performed well on the back of a strong demand in developing markets. Penguin Books also traded in line with Pearson’s expectations and digital and subscription revenues helped the Financial Times to counter weaker advertising sales.

As a result, Pearson forecasts good revenue growth for the group as a whole at constant exchange rates for 2012 and an operating profit of around £935 million pounds.

The group has been undergoing some deep-seated changes. It is merging Penguin books with Random House publishers, owned by Germany's Bertelsmann. It also sold its 50 per cent stake in the FTSE International market indexes business to the London Stock Exchange.

Marjorie Scardino stepped down as Pearson’s CEO at the end of last year following a 16 year stint with the head of the international education arm John Fallon taking over the reins.

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