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Pearson Anticipates-Earnings Growth-Despite Tough Times

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MAIN NEWS HEADLINES
January 22 – January 29, 2008 Edition

Pearson Anticipates
Earnings Growth
Despite Tough Times

NEW YORK, NY (Authorlink News, January 19, 2009) –Pearson, the world’s leading education company and parent company for Penguin Group USA, today provided its regular January trading update ahead of announcing its preliminary results for 2008 on 2 March 2009.

The company said it would report good growth and continued progress on our financial goals for 2008, despite the worsening macroeconomic environment. Trading conditions were more difficult in some of Pearson’s markets in the fourth quarter, but all of its businesses achieved or exceeded our guidance for 2008. The company also benefited from the strength of the US dollar against sterling* and a lower tax rate.

As a result, Pearson expects to report headline earnings growth of around 20% for 2008 (against adjusted EPS of 46.7p in 2007), ahead of the consensus of market expectations (approximately 51p, according to Reuters and Bloomberg).

Marjorie Scardino, chief executive, said: “We are naturally cautious about the economic environment, but we take confidence from our performance in 2008. It provides evidence that our strategy for long-term, sustainable growth is working. Some of our markets will be tough this year and we are managing the company accordingly. But that strategy, our record of investment and our resilience will enable us to take full advantage of the opportunities this environment gives us to build our business and gain share.”

The education business finished the year ahead of company expectations, with good growth in our testing businesses and particular strength in US Higher Education and International Education. These have more than offset some weakness in the US School publishing market caused by pressure on state budgets. Penguin also performed well, in line with expectations, in a slower holiday trading season for the overall books market. FT Publishing has produced good sales and profit growth despite the slowdown in the advertising market in the fourth quarter, and Interactive Data will report its Q4 performance and full-year results on 19 February 2009.

Looking ahead to 2009, Pearson is planning on the basis that the worldwide economic environment will be tough and that trading conditions will continue to be challenging in some of our markets. However, the company expects to prove durable once again thanks to the strength and breadth of the education business, Penguin’s consistent publishing performance and the FT Group’s shift towards subscription and content revenues.

Pearson is an international media company with market-leading businesses in education, business information and consumer publishing. The company leads the markets in quality, innovation and in profitability. The company employs more than 30,000 employees based in 60 countries.