US boost brightens outlook for Pearson

PUBLISHING group Pearson raised its 2009 earnings guidance after an advertising decline slowed in the fourth quarter, the US school publishing market improved and Penguin books achieved strong Christmas sales.

Pearson – which owns the world's biggest educational publishing business, the Financial Times newspaper and Penguin Books – yesterday said it now expects earnings growth of about 10 per cent, up from its previous forecast of 4 per cent growth.

Chief executive Marjorie Scardino said the company was encouraged by accelerating worldwide take-up of its digital learning products.

Shares closed at 891p last night, down 1.98 per cent.