Home Estate Planning Pearson: Publisher turns page with leap in profit as it launches fresh £200m buyback

Pearson: Publisher turns page with leap in profit as it launches fresh £200m buyback

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Publishing giant Pearson reported a year of profit and is trading in line with expectations, as shares rose over three per cent in early trading this morning.

The FTSE 100 listed firm, which focuses on educational publishing and services, said operating profit reached £498m up from £271m recorded the prior year.  Group adjusted operating profit also leaped 31 per cent to £573m.

Following the open, Pearson’s shares rose by more than four per cent, the top riser on London’s premier bluchip index.

The company said it would also launch a £200m share buyback programme, which is due to commence on 7 March, one day after its previous £300m scheme ends.

Pearson added the increase in 2023 was “driven by increased trading profits and a reduction in the costs of major restructuring”. 

Two years ago the firm engaged in a turnaround plan after it was bruised by the education system moving online due to the pandemic. 

The firm underwent a digital revamp to adapt to the changing market, and was also exploring how AI could help the education market. 

Omar Abbosh, Pearson’s chief Executive, said:“Pearson is well positioned today, providing a stable platform for continued growth that can benefit from the inflection point we see with the development of AI,” the company said today. 

“I am optimistic about the opportunities this advancement in technology brings, underpinned by our trusted brand, large high quality data sets and strong capabilities in assessment, content and services. We have an exciting future ahead of us.”

The firm proposed a final dividend of 15.7p, resulting in a full year dividend up six per cent  to 22.7p.

Alongside results published today, the firm also confirmed the departure of Tim Score, deputy chair, senior independent director and chair of Pearson’s nomination and governance committee.

Score is retiring and is due to step down next month.

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