Next year promises little cheer for the beleaguered ad market, media group Pearson has warned.

“We expect advertising revenues in the first quarter of next year to be markedly lower than in the same period this year,” Pearson lamented, with little improvement on the cards for the whole of 2002.

The owner of the Financial Times forecast that there “won’t be any substantial upturn” in the ad or technology sectors next year, and is planning its business accordingly.

In addition, the company's Latin American operations have run into tough trading conditions.

However, chief executive Marjorie Scardino said recent steps would stand Pearson in good stead: “The markets for advertising and technology continue to be tough, compounded by problems in Latin America. We can’t say when these markets will recover, but with our cost base significantly lower, we’re putting our business in the best possible shape for the year ahead.”

News sources: BBC Online Business News (UK); CampaignLive (UK)