'FT' owner takes Q4 earnings hit
British education and media group Pearson warned it expected tough market conditions to continue in 2013 after a weak fourth-quarter hit earnings last year.
The owner of the 'Financial Times' newspaper and Penguin books publisher said it now expected to report adjusted earnings per share of around 84 pence (€1.05) for 2012.
This is below the 84.9 pence it had predicted in October.
The company said this was due to weaker educational funding in developed markets and sluggish advertising.
The result was already expected to be down on the previous year's earnings of 86.5 pence a share due to the sale last year of its 50pc stake in the FTSE International market indexes business to the London Stock Exchange, which it said contributed 2.2 pence a share to earnings in 2011.
The downgrade from a group that is more used to surprising in the other direction was rare and hit its share price. On the positive side, the company said its international arm would report double-digit percentage sales growth due to strong demand in developing markets, assessment and English Language Teaching.
Books group Penguin traded in line with expectations and digital and subscription revenues helped the 'Financial Times' to counter weaker advertising sales.