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Pearson profits down despite uptick in sales

Sales up 9% to $6 billion

LONDON — Media group Pearson has posted a loss of £391 million ($556 million) for 2001, compared to a profit of $255 the previous year. Sales were up 9% to $6 billion.

The results were better than expected given last year’s dramatic downturn in the global advertising market. The drop in ad sales masked improvement at the group’s Internet businesses, where losses were cut 30% to $194.4 million.

Pearson is the parent of the Financial Times newspaper. In January, the company sold its 22% stake in RTL Group, Europe’s biggest broadcaster, for roughly $1.3 billion to German media giant Bertelsmann, severing its last connection to the TV industry.

Pearson CEO Marjorie Scardino said: “The recession in advertising and technology markets meant that it was not possible last year to build on the steady improvement in performance which our shareholders have come to expect. As we look ahead into 2002, we are confident of resuming our progress whatever the economic climate.”

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