Pearson says net profits triple in first half

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British media group Pearson, publisher of the Financial Times newspaper and Penguin books, said on Monday that first-half net profits more than tripled on soaring education sales, and lifted its guidance.

Earnings after tax rocketed to 92 million pounds (110 million euros, 142 million dollars) in the six months to the end of June, compared with 28 million pounds in the same period of last year, the group said in a results statement.

Sales jumped nine percent to 2.342 billion pounds, added Pearson, which generates about 60 percent of revenues and earnings from its education division.

"The 2010 finish line isn't yet in sight, but this is as good a start to our year as I've seen," said Chief Executive Marjorie Scardino in the earnings release.

"That boosts our confidence in the full year, enabling us to brighten our outlook and raise our guidance.

"We've invested consistently in global and digital education and information and that's helping every part of Pearson grow strongly, even in uncertain markets."

Pearson added Monday that it now expects adjusted earnings of approximately 70 pence a share for the current financial year, up from 65.4 pence a year earlier.

However, the group also cautioned that market conditions remained uncertain, with slowing growth expected in the second half of 2010.

© 2010 AFP

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