Pearson plc (LON: PSON) said on Monday its underlying revenue showed resilience in the first quarter. The company also expressed confidence that its financial performance will match its previous guidance this year.
Pearson shares that you can learn to buy online here opened at 800 pence in the stock market on Monday and are currently trading at a higher 823 pence. In comparison, the London-listed company had started the year 2021 at a much lower 681 pence per share.
Virtual-learning business reports a 26% increase in sales
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Pearson said its underlying sales came in 5% up in the first three months of 2021. The company attributed the increase to robust demand for online learning courses due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. The novel flu-like virus has so far infected more than 4.4 million people in the United Kingdom and caused over 127 thousand deaths.
The British multinational posted a 1% decline in the US higher-education courseware underlying revenue, but it was more than offset by a 26% increase in sales from its virtual-learning segment. In separate news from the UK, Informa plc expressed plans of merging its existing financial intelligence business with Novantas Inc (US-based advisory services provider).
In a recent announcement, the London-based firm said it wanted to reorganise five of its businesses – English, higher education, workforce skills, virtual learning, and assessment and qualifications. On Monday, Bird said that the divisions were being reorganised as planned. Pearson is also currently committed to switching to digital.
Pearson expects profits and revenue to grow in 2021
According to Pearson, its annual profit and revenue is expected to see growth in 2021. As per the company-compiled consensus, analysts are calling for £385 million of pre-tax profit for the education company this year on an adjusted basis.
In the previous year (2020), the publishing company had recorded £354 million of pre-tax profit before tax. Chief Executive Andy Bird said on Monday:
“We continue to expect to deliver revenue and profit growth in 2021 and for our performance to be in line with our 2021 outlook as we benefit from improving trading conditions as COVID-19 restrictions ease.”
Pearson plc performed slightly upbeat in the stock market last year with an annual gain of close to 7%. At the time of writing, it is valued at £6.23 billion and has a price to earnings ratio of 20.14.