Pearson reports slump in sales amid school closures

Pearson PLC office building. Pearson PLC is the largest education company and the largest book publisher in the world.

Pearson has seen a slump in sales over the course of the pandemic as schools and test centres were forced to close.

Group sales declined by 14% largely, which reflected the impact of the pandemic. However, global online learning sales grew 14% due to 41% enrolment growth in Virtual Schools for the academic year 2020/2021.

“Our digital performance is very strong, as we support customers and learners around the world as they shift to fully online and hybrid learning,” said chief executive, John Fallon.

“This has been a challenging transformation for all of us but we are starting to see the benefit of all our work to ensure Pearson becomes the winner in digital learning. We are focusing on what learners care most about – a fantastic user experience, enabling better learning outcomes and offering great value.

“Pearson is a special company, doing something that really matters to the wider world, and I wish it every future success,” he added.

The group said there are uncertainties surrounding the fourth quarter, however, Pearson is on track to deliver an outturn broadly in line with market expectations.

Pearson shares (LON: PSON) opened higher on Wednesday morning and are currently trading +0.18% at 570,80 (0859GMT).