No upturn in FT Group ad revenue imminent, says Pearson

Pearson, which publishes the Financial Times, has forecast that advertising revenues from its FT Group division will not improve “any time soon” after reporting a 4% dip in underlying first-half revenues.

The publisher says although its strategy of reducing “reliance on advertising” and “significantly” increasing its digital and subscription levels has helping the group withstand “difficult” market conditions, it does not see and an immediate end to the “severe advertising downturn”.

Sales in the division, which also includes interactive data and analysis operations, fell to £425m in the first six months of its financial year with gains in the latter, up 5% , partly offsetting losses in publishing, which slumped 13%.

Total sales across Pearson, which owns book publisher Penguin, were flat at £2.4bn.

Marjorie Scardino, chief executive of the group says it long-term planning is paying off.

““The transformation we’ve been pursuing for a decade, from ‘publishing’ company to content, technology and services company, is paying off. Over the past six years, Pearson has delivered substantial growth; this year is about proving our resilience and competitive edge. So far, we’ve passed the test.”

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