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Pearson plc reports a 32% increase in its global online learning sales in Q3

In an announcement on Wednesday, Pearson plc (LON: PSON) said that its underlying sales came in 10% lower in the fiscal third quarter. For the full year, however, it expressed confidence that performance was in line with expectations.

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Shares of the company were reported more than 1% up in premarket trading on Wednesday but slid 3.5% on market open. Pearson plc is now just under 15% down year to date in the stock market. Interested in investing in the stock market online? Here’s a simple guide to get you started.

Disney’s Andy Bird to take on the role of Pearson’s CEO next week

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Pearson acknowledged the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on its international operations in the third quarter. COVID-19 has so far infected more than 38 million people worldwide and caused over a million deaths.

The education company said its underlying sales from international operations were 26% down in the recent quarter. In North America, the decline was comparatively narrower at 15%. Global online learning sales, on the other hand, posted a 32% increase in the third quarter.

In the first three quarters of the current fiscal year combined, Pearson reported a 14% decline in underlying sales on Wednesday attributed primarily to school closures to minimise the fast spread of the novel flu-like virus. In the fiscal first half, Pearson plc had registered £23 million of loss, as per the report published in late July.

The British multinational said that it was uncertain about its performance in the fourth quarter due to the ongoing health crisis, especially in its international operations. Pearson named Andy Bird as its next CEO in August. Bird, who has previously served as the president and chairman of Walt Disney International, is scheduled to take on the role at Pearson next week.

Consensus expectations for Pearson’s annual operating profit

On an adjusted basis, consensus expectations for annual operating profit, Pearson added, stood at £331 million as of 1st June. CEO John Fallon commented on the financial update on Wednesday and said:

“The last few years have been hard for our shareholders and everybody involved but we have stayed true to our purpose. The future of learnings is digital and as you can see from these trends, Pearson is going to play a very big part in it.”

At the time of writing, the London-based publishing and education company is valued at £4.21 billion and has a price to earnings ratio of 16.36.

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