Pearson’s shares tumbled more than 25 per cent this morning, after the education company withdrew its profit goal for 2018.
It has also announced plans to sell its stake in publisher Penguin Random House, after an “unprecedented period of change and volatility”. A textbook perfect storm.
Operating profit for 2017 is expected to be £570m-£630m, with adjusted earnings per share of 48.5p to 55.5p. That’s around £180m lower than it had anticipated at the beginning of 2016.
The education company and former owner of the FT, said this guidance is based on assumptions regarding further declines in enrolment and more pressures in the North American higher education courseware market for the year.
And from The Guardian this morning:
Penguin Random House is the world’s largest book publisher, with titles ranging from Fifty Shades of Grey and The Girl on the Train, to Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver’s recipe books.
The sale of its stake could net about £1.2bn for Pearson and would mark its final exit from its once-considerable non-education-focused publishing empire, which included the Financial Times and a 50% stake in the Economist.
Bertlesmann, which owns 53% of Penguin Random House, said it was keen to increase its stake to as much as 75% with a further investor such as private equity likely to take the remaining stake.
The world’s largest education publisher has found itself struggling with a huge decline in textbook sales and the transition to digital learning.