Pearson announces interim profits of £178m

Global publishing group Pearson has announced operating profits of £178m, up 79% from 2009, in its interim results.

Financial Times
Financial Times

The parent of Penguin, The Financial Times and Dorling Kindersley attributed growth to its US educational division and developments in digital learning, while “structural changes in markets towards digital delivery, personalisation, subscription services and mobile devices” helped boost digital revenues, which accounted for more than 25% of the firm’s total sales.

According to Pearson, the FT Group – which comprises The Financial Times, FT.com, Mergermarket and a 50% stake in The Economist – has “significantly” shifted its business towards digital and subscription revenues.

Digital subscriptions to FT.com were up 27% to 149,000, with more than 1,000 direct corporate licences, registered users up 77% to 2.5m and almost 250,000 downloads of the paper’s iPad app.

The FT’s combined average daily audience – print, apps and online – is now around 1.9m, as audited by ABC Electronic.

The paper’s ad revenues returned to growth in the first half of 2010, but the outlook still remains uncertain.

The Economist also reported an increase in total annual online visits, up 12% on 2009 to 104m.

Last month, The Financial Times launched a £2m integrated global branding campaign to promote its luxury lifestyle website How To Spend It (nma.co.uk 8 June 2010).

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