TV, publishing boost Pearson profits

Pretax profits up 13%

LONDON — British media group Pearson delivered a 13% rise in pre-tax profits to £286 million ($472 million) last year, despite startup losses from the U.K.’s Channel 5 and adverse exchange rates which significantly dented revenues.

Gross sales were up 5% to $3.78 billion across Pearson’s four main businesses — the Financial Times, education publishing, entertainment and investment banking.

The entertainment division, which includes Pearson TV and the Penguin publishing empire, was the group’s star performer, posting a 93% rise in operating profits to $186 million, and a 31% increase in sales to $1.74 billion.

That big leap was substantially aided by the acquisition of U.S. publisher Putnam Berkley, which helped Penguin to more than double its profits.

It also reflected the turnaround at consumer software publisher Mindscape, which reported a $2.7 million profit after losing $76 million in 1996. This enabled Pearson to sell Mindscape last week to the Learning Co. for $150 million, a loss of $350 million on the price paid by Pearson for the California-based company four years ago.

“A year ago we could not have sold this business for anything,” Pearson chief exec Marjorie Scardino commented.

Pearson TV also had a strong year, which included the acquisition of “Baywatch” producer All American TV.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Biz News from Variety

Loading