Britain's Pearson On Course Despite FT Ad Slump

18 December 2003

UK-headquartered publisher Pearson is on course to hit full-year targets despite continued problems at the Financial Times.

The company revealed this week that strong growth in its stateside higher education unit had made up for a slump in advertising at the FT. The paper is expected to post a 12% decline in ad revenues for the second half of this year, equating to a full-year drop of 15%.

"Though market conditions remain tough for corporate advertising and technology-related businesses, we continue to perform strongly in our markets and are benefiting from further efficiency gains," Pearson declared in a press release.

For 2004, the group warned that the advertising outlook at the FT remained "uncertain", though an upturn in the title's profits is expected due to cost-cutting.

Pearson's education arm is expected to report a healthy 2003, but 2004 may prove trickier as US states order fewer books. Its Penguin arm, meanwhile, is forecast to outperform the general consumer publishing market next year.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff