Pearson's shares slump following earnings, downbeat forecast

|About: Pearson plc (PSO)|By:, SA News Editor

Pearson's (PSO) net profit increased to £538M ($899M) in 2013 from £311M in 2012.

However, adjusted operating profit fell 6% to £871M, as the company expected, hurt by weak demand in U.S. higher education and restructuring expenses.

Sales increased 2% to £5.18B, missing consensus of £5.8B.

Pearson expects pressures in its largest markets to continue, hurting revenue and margins. "We are in the middle of what we believe will be a short, but difficult, transition," says CEO John Fallon.

Pearson forecasts that 2014 EPS will drop to £0.62-0.67 from 70.1 pence in 2013.

Pearson proposed a 7% rise in its dividend to 48 pence a share.

Shares are -8.1% in London. (PR)