October 22 – October 29, 2009 Edition

Exchange Rates Nag Penguin Though Sales Grow

NEW YORK, NY/AUTHORLINK NEWS/10/22/09–Penguin USA showed a healthy 12% gain in sales for the first nine months of 2009, but declined 4% at constant exchange rates. Parent company Pearson reported a company-wide sales increase of 20%, but only a 2% gain at constant exchange rates for the period. Pearson’s operating profits were up 19% (or 3% at the constant exchange rate).

Pearson said good publishing performance and strong growth in e-book sales, which grew fourfold, helped offset the impact of the exchange rates. The company now has 12,000 e-books available.

Titles with particularly strong sales include The Help by Kathryn Stockett and the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris; Jamie’s America by Jamie Oliver, Ooh! What a Lovely Pair by Ant and Dec, and Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby.

The North American education group showed a 30% increase in sales for the nine-month period (4% with the exchange rate)), despite the tough economic conditions in the U.S. school market.

Marjorie Scardino, Pearson chief executive, said: “We began 2009 in a cautious mood, wary of the impact of the global economic crisis on our company. We have now seen enough of it to say that, though no part of Pearson has been untouched, the company as a whole has proved its strength. We have steadfastly pursued a strategy based on quality content, digital innovation, new markets and efficiency gains. As we look towards 2010, we intend to be even more aggressive in these areas–especially new services and fast-growing markets.”